Unlike most of their post-grunge peers who were weaned on all things indie and alternative, Solid Frog bears the mark of a group that grew up on a steady mainstream diet of Van Halen and Kiss. Their debut album, Supercoat, doesn't attempt to hide this; in fact, it even boasts an underlying sense of humor, an attribute that was largely missing during the angst-ridden seriousness of the mid-'90s. It would be quite difficult to unearth any pretensions in lead singer Andy Patalan's lyrics -- "Marino," for example, is a high-octane denouncement of football great Dan Marino, while "Hello" comically describes the woes of a rock band touring through Podunk, U.S.A. The singles "Standard Day" and "My God" are perfect encapsulations of the group's big (and often anthemic) sound. While the loud/quiet, minor/major dynamics are rather commonplace, Solid Frog implements them with conviction and clarity. Regardless of their party rock influences, the band's pop songwriting sensibilities and contemporary ear manage to keep their music firmly rooted within its own era. Indeed, the group pulls off the rare feat of managing to sound both familiar and unique simultaneously. A fun, promising debut album.
by Steve Bekkala