Bevis Frond – Focus On Nature (Fire Records)


It’s kind of humbling to know that Bevis Frond have been doing their unique take on Alternative rock since 1986. And its quite funny that the term “Alternative rock” didn’t exist until the 90’s. Before then it was known as “College Rock”. In 1992 Tom Waits won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album for Bone Machine. And Toms Waits’ response was “Alternative to what?”. And that’s a great point! I guess we all like to have some kind of label or style association as a reference point to relate too. Guitar heavy Bands of 80’s and 90’s like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and Swervedriver definitely give their honourable nod to the maestro, Neil Young. And it’s so great to hear a band like Bevis Frond still doing their own unique take on this genre.

Bevis Frond no doubt love guitars. And the first track of this album, ‘Heat’, comes straight out of the gate with a blistering familiar axe Sound. But at 2.30 min in, I saw my fist unknowingly start to raise into the air triumphantly. As multi-instrumentalist/Guitarist/vocalist Nick Soloman, unleashes a guitar solo, that would have J Mascis bowing down on his knees to this great man. As I enthusiastically surge forward into this incredible album, the guitar heavy onslaught continues with songs like ‘God’s Gift’, the fast-paced rocker ‘Empty’, and the super catchy ‘Jack Immortal.’

But I believe a successful guitar album also needs its slower paced psychedelic flourishes. And Bevis Frond has the incredible and even uncanny ability to lay down songs like ‘Leb Off’, and ‘Here for the other one’ without sounding out of place. Which then leads me onto the track ‘Mr Freds Disco.’ A beautiful 8-minute dirge, that wouldn’t feel out of place in its similarity to Neil Young’s ‘Down By The River’. This track could possibly be my favourite song on the album, because of the journey it takes you on from start to finish, and the anticipation that it builds. The guitar solos in this song build from a slow burn to an epic victory like state ending with doubling guitar solos.

I think everyone who would give this album a chance, would come away from it a better person, and grateful for the fact that there are artists like Bevis Frond still doing this amazing style of music. Because believe it or not, people still need music like this. I definitely do. Thanks Bevis Frond.


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