Conglomerate International

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Conglomerate International, Frodus' ode to corporate America, is about as subtle as a shotgun blast. That said, it is one impressive blast that rarely backs down and includes some stunning hard-hitting tracks. Opening and occasionally segueing into incidental noise interludes that mock the power of global corporations and showcase the group's ability to play quietly when absolutely necessary, the real meat of the record sounds more like a mixture between Helmet and an angry mental patient. Singer and guitarist Shelby Cinca is the most obvious force behind the sound, and his incessant screams are equally dynamic and destructive. The Frodus rhythm section carries its weight as well, laying down heavy, heavy grooves for Cinca's noisy guitar antics to fumble on top of. From start to finish, the tracks are fairly similar, but, on a whole, the idea is powerful and flawlessly executed. The high point of the record actually comes in the form of a cover of Devo's "Explosions," which, when given the Frodus treatment, becomes a full-on rocker complete with off-time stops and call and response vocals. While Conglomerate International isn't exactly the group's most innovative record, it still stands as an unapologetic slab of hardcore spazzed-out punk rock, and, given what their next record would hold, it also is a clear stepping stone in the musical evolution of the group and their wild politics.

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