Moviola

Frantic

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AllMusic Review by

Frantic was re-released on Boston's Spirit of Orr Records in 1995 (and later again in 2000), after originally being released on vinyl on Columbus, OH's Anyway Records. The sound of needle hitting the record at the beginning of the first track, "Out of Gaze," gives the CD a vinyl feel. That first track instantly gives the listener a dose of the band's unique and jangly brand of chaotic pop/rock, as well as Jake Housh's soulful Midwestern vocals. The pace slows down with track three, "Pipes & Fittings." Even with the slowed-down tempo, a fuzziness still emits throughout the song. Even the ballads experiment with different types of noise. The fuzzy and upbeat guitar-based rock continues with the fifth track, "Sensuous." The disc really hits its stride on track nine, "Bank Machine." It's sloppy and has the perfect setting for a performance in a bar, but it's sloppily graceful, fitting perfectly into the southern Ohio rock scene of the mid-'90s. While Guided by Voices and the Breeders garnered most of the attention during that era, there were always diamonds in the rough like Moviola. The original release of Frantic was recorded in June and October 1994 at Magnetic Planet Studios. This re-release features four bonus tracks, which were recorded at Coal Room Studios in Columbus in May 1995. The last four songs, the bonus tracks, start off with "Rodeo," a laid-back song with a sunny afternoon porch feel, very different from most Moviola songs at the time. The band returns to their bread and butter with "Walk," "Drinking Wine," and "Ice Fishing." Ted Hattemer, Scotty Tabachnick, and Jerry Dannemiller capably back up Housh, adding instrumentation and vocals to the mix. Throughout the disc, one gets a sense that the songs are personal and the process of writing the songs on Frantic evolved out of afternoon sessions in dusty Midwestern basements. The band admittedly took influence from Neil Young and Beat Happening, and it shows. And it works.

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