I've been hearing for a little bit that there's some great stuff coming out of France in the way of post-punk, and one of the names that's consistently come up is Frustration. I was happy to finally get my hands on both of their 12" eps recently, courtesy of Born Bad Records, the label and record store in Paris. The result: it's been quite a while since I've been blown away by a band like this. Both of Frustration's 12"s traded spots on my turntable consistently for the 2 weeks after I got them. With a good deal of the post-punkers wallowing in their misery, it's good to see someone come along, kick up some dust, and prove that after all, the "post" is just a prefix and the music is actually PUNK!
The first 12", initially self-released and subsequently re-pressed by the great Parisian label Manic Depression, opens up with a repetitive synth blare on "Artists Suck" that recalls the opening of the Phantom Limbs' first 7". From there, we're served 4 blasts of taut, jagged rock n roll with nervous guitars and jagged rhythms you might expect to hear on a Crisis or Warsaw record. Deep vocals alternately sung and strained make way for chanted choruses that recall Sham 69 or the Business. In fact, the last song on the record "Adrenaline" is like a more beefy Fall, or perhaps the Cockney Rejects with keyboards. And it WORKS!
Their second 12", on the aforementioned Born Bad Records, incorporates more synth noises, handclaps, and creative vocal lines, but keeps the music simple and raw. I'm trying to avoid using the term "retro" to describe Frustration because they've latched onto something that is obviously still very current. "Your Body," with its opening keyboard line and its pummeling marching beat gives early Killing Joke a serious run for their money. Destined to become a classic.
For now, snatch these up where ever you can. When Frustration gets an LP under their belt and tours outside of France, they'll quickly become a household name in the post-punk scene and these early artifacts will be catching some serious money on eBay soon without a doubt.
Frustration on myspace