Release Date: Feb 23, 2018
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
'Basic Behaviour' is built on tension. Tension between states of balance and collapse, light and dark, melody and dissonance. Tensions in singer Bria Salmena’s life and society at large. ‘Basic Behaviour’, as it stands, is not a record made for zenning out to - things are far too urgent for that.
The album art for FRIGS' Basic Behaviour — digitally designed by Toronto artist Olenka Szymonski — features a nude woman chained with her arm twisted backwards, in an aquarium with calla lilies floating around her. This uncomfortable visual mixture of vulnerability and disturbed beauty is truly befitting of FRIGS' debut, which plunges listeners into a darkened body of water that threatens to have no bottom. Swirling in the blackened mix are Bria Salmena's lyrics, speaking both to her own experiences as a woman fronting a band, and personal struggles, and her ferocity and strength shine here. Her vocals are sung one moment and caterwauled the next, and continue to keep you guessing.
FRIGS have been described many ways: "swamp rock," "sludge-pop," "doom and atmospheric gloom." Most frequently, though, they're compared to PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth. The Toronto band makes no attempt to mask those influences on its debut LP, Basic Behaviour--indeed, they're cited in FRIGS' own press releases--and their presence can at times be stifling, like a fragrance that lingers long after someone has left the room. The most compelling songs on this album occur when the group reconfigures these component parts into new shapes.
Rating: NNNN If there's an encapsulating sentiment, or mood, about the prevailing time, it's this: "This is shit." Frigs singer Bria Salmena spits that lyric on II from the band's debut album. Succinct yet visceral, the line is both an explosion of frustration and a plain and vital proclamation we've all likely made at some point. The four-piece have been circling the Toronto rock scene for the past few years (formerly as Dirty Frigs), self-producing frenetic, post-punk, grunge-soaked EPs that draw comparisons to PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth.