frYars – simple but not superb?

frYars (the Y a tribute to KanYe) is one of those acts long talked-up in blogland and the trendier musical hills (witness The Guardian gushing as far back as November 2007), but apparently unable to make the consequent swathes in the world of the masses.  But recently there’s been a suggestion of the long-anticipated arrival, with increased media coverage and influential name-dropping.  Perhaps that’s due to the debut album finally arriving.

I find it a tad difficult to get excited based on the MP3s released so far, as the album samples available on the MySpace page.  A one-man synth-centred popster named Ben Garrett, frYars makes rather precise melodies that remind instantly of Esser and Frankmusik, but with less mischief.  What’s offputting is his vocal style: he speaks rather than sings, and nearly always at that in so low and booooming a baritone… He reminds of Dave Gahan (who has, perhaps uncoincedentally, performed with frYars) on Depeche Mode numbers like Enjoy The Silence, sounding almost a bit fey, a bit like a pisstake…

 fryars

The problem with this lack of proper singing is that it means the songs are nigh on impossible to chant along with.  That said, what frYars does do well is intoxicating electronic beats (again like Depeche Mode) – sometimes swirly and chintzy, sometimes thick and unrepentant and very 80s, his fast-paced electro is always likeable.  This is instant-gratification in a good, simple way. 

Simple – but not superb?

Live dates:
Mon 21 September – Rough Trade East, Shoreditch
Thurs 24 September – Pure Groove Records, Farringdon

frYars on MySpace

MP3: frYars – Olive Eyes (zSHARE)
MP3: frYars – Visitors (Feat. Dave Gahan) (zSHARE)

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~ by ripamel on 08/09/2009.

One Response to “frYars – simple but not superb?”

  1. i’ve heard the album.
    it’s superb.

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