Dennis Kresin (vocals/guitar/synth), Markus Kresin (guitar/vocals/synth), Niklas Beiten (bass/synth) and Lennart Richter (drums) are Frogcodile. I have to say when I first heard their name all I could do was think of some animal that was a genetic mixture of a frog and crocodile. Imagery aside I wasn’t sure what to expect from their album Shuffled Pieces_Puzzled Brains. They mention they are somewhere between Radiohead and The Police. To my ears the former seems to be a more obvious comparison.
Their music embraces a similar melancholy and existential pondering to Radiohead and there are some vocal similarities to Thom Yorke in the vocal department especially when Kresin goes into falsetto. Shuffled Pieces_Puzzled Brains is large in scope in a number of ways. There are eleven songs and none feel like filler. Each song has had a lot of work put into it. This becomes obvious the more you listen and notice the details.
The songs are also accessible because of the hooks and memorable melodies. Take for instance “Hypnotic” which is a fantastic, dynamic opener. The band has no problems rocking out in ways that don’t feel conventional while also embracing warmer, atmosphere on the verse.
“Paper House” is brighter and even hopeful sounding while a song like “Plastic Smile” is able to successfully combine disparate elements like a funky bass, a distorted synth and clean guitars with technically impressive drum patterns.
The comparisons to Radiohead are perhaps most prominent on a song like “Fine Line” which fully embraces the melancholy. As the album progresses there is no lack of songs that were easy to appreciate. “Memories Of Tomorrow” is a somewhat optimistic sounding highlight that examines existential questions with some of the most infectious and memorable vocal melodies. “Wrong Side” and “Machine Dance” continue to weave a nice variety of nuance and subtlety
The band can also be a little less abstract with a song like “Know” which is a more straightforward rocker. “Until’ proves the band doesn't need much more than a guitar and vocals while “Craving” begins the momentum again and leads to the closer “Tin Man.” “Tin Man” clearly serves as the epic finale with more traditional guitar solos.
Shuffled Pieces_Puzzled Brains is quite an achievement and I encourage you to take a listen. The blend of experimentation and palatable melodies is a winning combination that will appeal to plenty of people out there.
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