Everything Must Burn

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With its angst-ridden lyrics and muscular sound, Frolic's debut is indebted to heart-on-their-sleeve rockers like Live and Creed, although, thankfully, they stop short of the sort of emotional overspill that more or less defined late-'90s modern rock. At times, as on the Alice in Chains-like "To California," Frolic pull off a very smart brand of grunge: Chunky riffs and a pounding rhythm section shake things up and Christian Sly's slightly disgruntled white guy vocals smooth them over, so much so that Everything Must Burn is probably palatable to mildly adventurous folkies. While most of this album is grungy enough, the title -- which could pass as the name of a lost Slayer record -- is a tad misleading: "Open Intro," "Now Without You," and the untitled ninth track are all mellower tunes that bear some rather charming hooks where they might very well have drifted off into Hootie and the Blowfish territory.

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