Frauen - Unreal City
the skinny says "
A brief internet search could leave you thinking that FRAUEN are new to the scene, but Adam Lamont, Kenni Campbell and Joe Campbell have done time in a multitude of Glasgow-based outfits. If you follow local labels Gold Mold or Struggletown you might recall Great Cop, The Sinking Feeling or Post Louis, but FRAUEN's a whole new thing. Adam and Kenni have swapped their usual roles, switching bass for guitar (and vice versa), and although all three contribute vocals, this is the first band that Lamont has officially fronted. The result is a record that grows in self-confidence, but that's mostly due to the formative, cathartic story that it tells.
Unreal City describes Lamont's two years spent living in London, with a title borrowed from T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. The poem is a dense, modernist triumph which portrays London as a decaying, dazzling, exhausting city: it's long been the stuff of musical inspiration, and FRAUEN's own Unreal City puts a deeply personal spin on the experience of battling life, relationships and mental health in the capital. Even if the anxious self-doubt of a quarter life crisis on In-Between ("Where do I go now? Where does this leave me?") also accurately sums up most journeys on the Circle and District line.
A press shot with American Football and Braid shirts, plus a band bio citing Drive Like Jehu and Jawbreaker as influences, makes plain FRAUEN's musical heritage. Early track Seven Years feels a little like early Get Up Kids as it breaks down to bare, percussive bones and describes a harrowing break-up with plenty of damning details on both sides: "I was spineless", "Your worst qualities: Stubbornness, intense jealousy...".