|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By:|
|Record Label: Youngside||Country Of Origin: Poland|
|Year Released: 2012||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 14||Rating: 75%|
|Running Time: 55:14|
The initial Angelic Warlord expectations for Frühstück and its 2012 Youngside Records debut Quiet were modest. Another King’s X clone? Yawn. How many times have we heard this before?
Hailing from Wroclaw, Poland, Frühstück (pronounced “froosh-tuk”, which loosely translates to “breakfast” in German) came together in the late nineties prior to putting out its initial 2000 full length offering Mine and follow up EP releases Mud (2005) and Be Careful (2007).
True to form, on Quiet Frühstück delivers a sound heavily influenced by King’s X. The group actually proves successful in this regard by capturing that immediately recognizable King’s X style guitar driven crunch and type of presence filled bass lines that would do Doug (dUg?) Pinnick proud (bassist Wojtek Karel deserves full credit here for his excellent work, as does guitarist Marcin Karel).
But is the King’s X resemblance a bad thing? By all means no! Frühstück has composed some very worthwhile material that more than holds its own when placed alongside recent King’s X efforts (can you say Ogre Tones?) but also certain to turn the heads of devotees to the groups prime late eighties and early nineties work. So I guess you could say that my lukewarm first impression of Quiet was off base when factoring the musical creditability Frühstück brings to the table.
Quiet breaks down into 14 songs, 10 of which form the basis of a very solid album:
You will find hooks galore but also the needed heavy rocking guitar driven edge, whether it is on mid-paced pieces “Pig” and “Song Of Deliverance” or those taking a more upbeat heading such as “Twister Of Life”, “Follow” and “Hope”. Either way, the group plays up just enough dance-able groove splashed with a little funk and some eclectic modern overtones to also appeal to those into Galactic Cowboys, Atomic Opera, Love War, etc.
Frühstück prove every bit adept when slowing the tempo to a near crawl. This is best exemplified on the albums bass heavy title track in addition to the atmospheric U2-ish “Angel” and ballad based “All We Need”. Equally laudable are “BC” and “Louder Than Words”, a pair of inspired plodders that can best be described as musical expressions of the Book of Proverbs and the Beatitudes, respectively.
At this point it needs to be noted how Frühstück is one of those bands in which it must hit the nail on the head from a songwriting standpoint, otherwise its efforts can come across a bit bland. You will encounter, as a result, four tracks a notch below the albums best (at least my opinion). The likes of “Kid” and “Grown Up” (somewhat slower tempo) and “Nothing Is Impossible” and “That’s The Way” (more expeditious feeling) are far from bad but also on the plain side of things. I more often than not hit the skip button.
Another area of concern - at least when factoring the King’s X comparison - is the lack of swirling King’s X style backing vocals and riveting Ty Tabor influenced lead guitar work. The latter is the area in which I am most disappointed in that the albums stronger tracks would shine that much more if matched with some equally adept soloing. With the exception of the ethereal instrumental break on “Angel” (which hints of The Edge), much of the material here is deficient of lead guitar, which is a shame in that I am certain Marcin Karel has some motivated soloing in him.
Helping round out the Frühstück sound is talented vocalist Martin Krale, who brings a gutsy and heartfelt presence trending towards the mid-ranged. Where he separates himself from the more soulful qualities of Doug Pinnick, however, is his ability to occasionally extend his register into the upper end of things and come across somewhat like Bono (U2) in the process. Hence, we have a bit of a King’s X meets U2 thing going on with Frühstück, which helps the group add a bit of a unique spin on the King’s X sound-alike aspect.
It also must be emphasized the inspired lyrics that speak openly of “Faith, Hope, Love” (no pun intended) in capturing the heart of the Psalmist. Yes, “BC” and “Louder Than Words” have already been mentioned, but also consider the passionate statements of faith made on “Quiet” and “Follow” or prayer like “Song Of Deliverance”. See the track by track for more details.
Packaging (digi-pak with 8 page mini-booklet) and production (crisp and clean with abundant low end) are of high quality.
Overall, I feel that Quiet is a strong work resting on a foundation of ten noteworthy songs and solid band performance, most notably from bassist Wojtek Karel and vocalist Martijn Krale. Drawbacks some in the form of several songs I skip over and the lack of guitar soloing. Still, if interested in a King’s X influenced sound with a slight U2 feel then by all means give Frühstück a chance.
Track By Track
Please note that in order to keep the review to a reasonable length I decided to focus the track by track on what I feel to be the ten best songs, both musically and lyrically.
“Pig” starts quietly to several seconds of atmospheric overtones prior to turning into a full bore rocker. As things move forward, distorted bass handles the disquiet verses and rhythm guitar the ploddingly massive chorus. This one would shine on Out Of The Silent Planet. Lyric snippet:
Deep in looking glass
Words slice deep
Cut to core – once again
Sooner or later all will know
Let the pig out and be real
Show your face like it is
Sooner or later grace will wash you ry
Switch on the light
But good enough for perfect love
Sooner or later all will know
The more decisive direction is taken on “Twister Of Life”. What we have here is a spirited rocker, brazen in tempo but put over the top by its catchy chorus and unrelenting riff action. A bit short at just three minutes but solid nonetheless. Lyric snippet:
Well in your eyes I see a storm
Twister of life
In your heart it may get warm
Feel it brother?
In your eyes I see a smiling child again
In new ways, you’ll live out hope again
In your eyes I see a fresh approach again
Won’t you turn, come back to me again?
“BC” can best be described as the Book of Proverbs set to music. The song proves trudging otherwise, with expansive bass lines and an emotional edge putting in place a moving scene. Backing vocals step forward to uphold what amounts a rousing chorus. Lyric snippet:
Be careful of your words, your deeds,
Your thoughts and actions too
Where you point and click, who you chat with,
Where you walk and what you do
Be careful, mind your steps,
There may be glass in the grass or a snake
Mind all you pray when you lie alone awake
Don’t know what the future brings
But I think I know the One who knows
My name is written on His hands
Engraved with bloody nails
“Louder Than Words” takes a similar focus but this time on the Beatitudes. Musically, a similar heading is taken in that the song sets a slower tempo but also mellower in that quieter guitars and keyboards also make their presence felt. Impetus also gradually builds until guitars kick in thick and firm.
Bless those who hurt you
Rejoice with who rejoices
Bless and do not curse
Bless those who hurt you
Weep with those who weep
Bless and do not curse
Repay no one with evil for evil
As far as it depends on you
Live in peace with all
Your enemy hungry
Go feed him, give him a drink
Don’t you give in to evil
But overcome with good
The albums six minute title track proves a powerhouse, mid-paced and focused with hulking bass lines playing a predominate role in interweaving with occasional calmer passages and touches of decisive rhythm guitar. Place this on Faith, Hope, Love and it would not sound out of place. Lyric snippet:
The thunder will cease, hail will be no more
The rats from hell won’t chase you no longer
No staring in nothingness no more
Kill no more, lie no more, steal no more
Misery no more, regret no more
Envy no more and cheat no more
Escape no more, push down no more
Screw up mo more, mess up no longer
At the break of day I see a pure river
Water of life as crystal
Welcome, come to the well
To all who are thirsty, waters of life
A return to an upbeat direction is taken on “Follow”. Getting underway to a distorted instrumental opening, the song romps through its verses in bass guitar driven fashion prior to breaking out for a decisive chorus in which a snarling rhythm guitar makes its presence felt. In the end, good melody, groove and energy to help things stand out. Lyric snippet:
Sometimes darkness leads to light
Jesus’ death has led to life I can feel air through these cracks
Please take my hand and go for a walk
Take me out of this state of shock
I can see light through these cracks
Lead me back where we began
Lead me home through honesty
Lead me with Your love
I will follow
Even if I have no idea, no clue
Grace carries me through
Staunch hard rocker “Song Of Deliverance” plays up a solid hook driven basis. The song advances its length drifting between calmer bass guitar driven passages and others in which a crisp rhythm guitar plays a prominent role. All the while we are treated to quite the pleasingly flowing melody. Lyric snippet:
I want to sing along, song of deliverance
Then the chains will break, the earth will shake
I want to sing along Your victory song
Lord revive me – You’re the strength of my heart
You heal and restore, we’ll never be apart
When doubts fill my mind, Your truth gives me hope
Oh Lord revive me
“Angel” is an exercise in creativity. Ethereal and atmospheric, the song gradually progresses to wavy U2-ish guitar lines and emotional vocals as quite the ambient setting is put into place. Yes, this might be the albums most laid bacu but the inspiration cannot be denied. Lyric snippet:
Angel, angel down deep divine
Humble servant of a Kingdom of bread and wine
Did you take a little light for me?
Some hope, fresh air and new strength
Did you take a word of life for me?
This world is turning and I keep falling down
I choose to look in your eyes
Did you take a little light for me
I praise the One that sent you here
“All We Need” approaches ballad territory. Another slowly emanating track, this one stands out with its encompassing melody - almost commercial in capacity - while playing up bass lines that literally breathe of life and Krale’s immaculate vocals. Lyric snippet:
And all that we need to know is Your love here
And Your grace embrace
Your spirit of love and of life
Reigning in this place
In my heart tonight
I come to you with a heart so cold
Take this rippled soul and smooth it out
You’re the owner of my heart
I come to You – a beat up mercy tank
Only through You can I love
Up-tempo all the way, “Hope” delivers hooks and energy in equal parts, with the upshot a tenacious but hook driven environs in which you will be returning time and again. The strapping low-end dominates as do the menacing guitars. Lyric snippet:
Patience time, the steep climb
Count the days with a thankful glaze
The future is bright since you put out the light
Don’t’ need no dope, light of my hope
Expect hope to be real soon
In spite of now sing your hope tune
Ultimate plans are in safe hands
God of hope in these lowlands
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Pig” (4:03), “Twister Of Life” (3:00), “BC” (4:18), “Louder Than Words” (4:29), “Quiet” (6:06), “Follow” (3:07), “Kid” (4:16), “Song Of Deliverance” (3:23), “Grow Up” (3:21), “Nothing Is Impossible” (3:40), “Angel” (4:31), “All We Need” (4:38), “That’s The Way” (2:52), “Hope” (3:22)
Martijn Krale - Lead Vocals
Marcin Karel - Guitars
Wojtek Karel - Bass
Tomasz Kuzbik - Drums