Mutant Pop, 1997
I don't know what happened to the Frantics between 1996's Playing Dumb
and this EP, but whatever it was, wow. Whether another year together helped the band cohere into a tighter unit or if it's simply a matter of a finding a label stable enough to finance a higher-quality recording, Downtown Delirium
marks a significant refinement in the band's sound. Speeding up the tempo, tightening the rhythm section, and adding a modicum of grit to the snot-drenched vocals would have made the decent songs on Playing Dumb
sound better, but when these qualities are combined with the vastly improved songwriting on Downtown Delirium
, you end up with one hell of a pop-punk disk.
Track 1. "Stuck With Being the One to Hate." Although the twenty-plus seconds of audio clips with which the band introduces the song are on the gratuitous side, "Stuck With Being the One to Hate" is a solid, if unexceptional, opener.
Track 2. "Downtown Delirium." The title track is great. Fast, loud, and snotty enough to make you want to grab a few extra handkerchiefs before heading out the door.
Track 3. "Trina's on a Postcard." Backed by a hard staccato beat and punctuated by precisely-timed eh, eh ehs, Kevin Mac delivers one of the best vocal performances of his career: both gritty and adenoidal, his singing will make you want to belt out the words along with him - and take him to an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Track 4. "Slightly Modified Stick People." A bit on the heavier side, the disk's closing track is also its punkest. Play this loud.