Frogcodile © Hauke Völkel
Songlines mit Frogcodile & Isabelle Pabst
The cross between a sticky amphibian and a dangerous reptile? That seems as bizarre as it is threatening and yet somehow familiar. The refreshing sound of the Wuppertal-based art-rock band FROGCODILE draws the listener into a melancholic-hypnotic spell, only to send him into joyful ecstasy the next moment.
Conducted by brothers Dennis and Markus Kresin and held together by the excellent rhythm section (Lennart Richter and Niklas Mingels), the band creates groove-driven guitar collages somewhere between Radiohead, The Notwist and Metronomy.
The upcoming album "Favourite Dish" (Oct. 2021) will follow the thoughtful and desperate predecessors "Refractions" (2017) and "Shuffled Pieces_Puzzled Brains" (2018). Enhanced with electronic elements, the new sound is more minimalist and approachable. Nonetheless, the mostly intimate voice allows itself to be carried away at points to loud almost grunge-like excesses. Longing for meaning and marked by an introspective loneliness, the lyrics flow through reverberating guitars and creaking synthesizers. However, without pulling this dark-colored sound carpet from under the listener's feet, the songs repeatedly break out of familiar pop structures.
Isabelle Pabst presents her solo debut for the first time. After two records with her trip hop band Tired Eyes Kingdom and their excursion into theatre music, the Cologne musician shows for the first time what sound grows out of her. Pabst brews mini-thrillers in the guise of pop songs. She tells stories about female* characters and sings about their secrets. The flashlight is musically held precisely on the dark corners of their truths, and a decisive look is taken into the psychological abysses and discord of the characters. The songs tell of resistance and liberation, of parting and ultimately of coming to terms with one's own life. Pabst sits on the edge of your bed at 4:00 in the morning. Gently but firmly she takes you by the hand and leads you through a fair of conditions. Except it's underwater and there's a trapdoor in each carousel that pulls you down into the depths. Down there, the bass billows and makes you dance with the question marks. Somewhere, a piano cries in the dark. Synthesizers, music boxes and a voice. Hildegard Knef meets Einstürzende Neubauten, dry beats and Slavic folk rhythms. You'd almost have to call it Psycholore. Weird Chanson or Broken Word would work too. "It would be too little for me if the audience sits with a big smile at the dinner table after my concert and thinks "Hach, voll schön.". If I don't feel different afterwards, stimulated or caught, maybe a little queasy or even dirty, then I haven't experienced anything."