Frogg Café - Creatures

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:32:00

Creatures is the sophomore effort of Long Island based Frogg Caf?. Having evolved from a Zappa cover band, Frogg Caf? uses plenty of influences to create 5 unique tracks. The music is complex, with intricate solo sections where jazz-fusion elements are often heard. Any band that combines the guitar with violin is ok in my book, and this will draw comparisons to The Dregs and Mahavishnu, among others. The symphonic sections often cross over, as the band is coming out of this jazzy grooving section they smack you in the face with a mellotron.

The music takes a turn on track 3 "The Celestial Metal Can" moving into the experimental realm, combining sound effects and atmospheres with various instrumentation. This could be the first appearance of the Toro electric weedwacker on record (although I doubt it), but it is a first for me. I wonder if they could get Toro to sponsor their next tour? "Gagutz" really stands out as the strongest track, with its use of woodwinds in the introduction adding a classical influence. The song quickly finds a strong groove and allows guitars, keyboards, and violin to step out and solo. The standout is the trumpet solo, which just took me by surprise but added a great element that is rarely heard in progressive music. Vocalist Nick Lieto is responsible for the trumpet section, as well as being the band's keyboardist. The track at times reminds me of what Gentle Giant might have done had they been more jazz influenced.

The final track is the 21 minute "Waterfall Carnival." The introduction is as mellow as the band gets on the record. Acoustic guitar and flute show a more pastoral side to their music. Keeping things subtle, slowly adding flute, drums and keyboards creating an early Genesis feel. The track carries itself well throughout, and fans of the symphonic epics should be pleased with this one as it builds to its conclusion. From start to finish, Frogg Caf? shows its diverse influences and brings them together with solid songs, melodies, and excellent musicianship.

All This Time (8:02) / Creatures (7:41) / The Celestial Metal Can (8:19) / Gagutz (7:55) / Waterfall Carnival (21:15)

Bill Ayasse - electric violin, acoustic violin and viola, mandolin, octave mandolin, background vocals, percussion
Frank Camiola - electric guitar, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, classical guitar, tenor banjo, string bass, additional keyboards, percussion
James Guarnieri - drums, percussion
Nick Lieto - lead and background vocals, keyboards, mellotron, hammond organ, grand piano, trumpet, percussion
Andrew Sussman - electric bass

Frogg Caf? (2001)
Creatures (2003)
Fortunate Observer Of Time (2005)
The Safenzee Diaries (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 4th 2004
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 926
Language: english


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