Monday, April 4, 2011


Song: "Deliberate Indifference"
Artist: The Frumpies
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My initial thought was, "This sounds like some high school-age friends leaned a tape recorder against the far wall of the garage and then haltingly ran through this crayon drawing of an indie-pop song with brows furrowed and lips pursed, trying to get through it once without screwing up." That turns out not to be accurate. The Frumpies are in fact composed of the drummer from Bratmobile and the three quarters of Bikini Kill that aren't Kathleen Hanna. I leave it to the reader to decide whether this particular roster means I was underestimating or overestimating the group's general musical proficiency.

The tempo lags, the song is underwritten by any reasonable measure (two barre chords in the verses, three in the chorus), and the lyrics evaporate beneath the cavernous reverb. Nevertheless, I like "Deliberate Indifference" an awful lot. The lo-fi production doesn't feel like a retro affectation the way it does with, say, the Dum Dum Girls, and although she's unintelligible, the vocalist puts audible, aching emotion behind her singing. It's as basic as can be, but it's a flavorful reduction.

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