The Frenetics

These Mistakes Took Years of Practice

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The main difference between Montreal's Frenetics and their Canadian compatriots Sum 41 (besides the Frenetics' refreshingly non-juvenile viewpoint) is that this trio's debut album suggests that their familiarity with the history of punk rock goes back further than Green Day's Dookie. Specifically, it seems likely that the Frenetics own a fair number of Jam albums from before Paul Weller started indulging his R&B jones, as well as some early Fugazi and classic-era Hüsker Dü. Naturally, they're not a patch on any of these artists -- Malcolm Bauld isn't particularly memorable as either a singer or a lyricist -- but These Mistakes Took Years of Practice makes up for its weaknesses by delivering its energetic, melodic pop-punk tunes with enough energy and variety to keep from falling into the all too common trap of having a dozen songs that basically all sound exactly alike. The high points are the churning "Cold Conclusion" and the sweetly power poppy "Wintertime," which sounds like a cross between early Go-Go's and late Redd Kross.

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