Tim Watson and Adam Rochon are Wood Frog. The duo from Ottawa, Ontario has been playing together since the mid ‘90s and it really comes as no surprise that their music is comparable to bands from that era and earlier. If you ever dug further into what was coming out of Seattle during the time of Soundgarden and Nirvana you would have discovered bands like Melvins, Mudhoney, Tad and The Screaming Trees. The music on White Clinical would be right at home if it was on a playlist with the aforementioned bands.
Wood Frog is quite creative when it comes to guitar. The sounds range from sludgy drones to warm power chord progression and a couple of places in between. They kept me engaged enough to wonder what was going to come next.
They open with “Sever” which sounds like it could a B-side from the Pixies. That's a compliment by the way. The song is about a minute long but they fit a lot into those seconds. What could have been atmospheric intro and a waste of time was actually a great introduction to their sound.
“The Manual” is solid all around. They create waves of white noise with their guitars as well as melodic interludes. The vocal delivery fits like a glove as the lyrics poetically unravel an apprehension mind. The vocalist sings, “The regrets of the week you keep locked in your mind I've seen 51 shades of it, they're starting to combine But who wants to live black and white?”
“Adrift” is a fairly straightforward yet dynamic song with a Stephen Malkmus style guitar playing while “Grey” is unequivocally ‘90s grunge-inspired that is quite hypnotic during the chorus. One of the highlights was “No Resistance.” It is a largely instrumental track but the end of it sounds like it was inspired by drone metal.
The closer “The Things You Can't Undo” is arguably the highlight. It's experimental at times and I thought the off kilter percussion was impressive. In addition the vocals on this song are strong.
White Clinical has some flaws but if you still have a hankering for ‘90s rock/grunge bands like Melvins and Tad than this is essential listening.
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