As I’ve gotten older, two things I look for in an album are consistency and flow. I don’t mind if a record takes me on a roller coaster ride or a slow walk around a dark neighborhood late at night, as long as the songs fit together as part of a greater whole.
The songs on Frontera fit together. Yes, it feels like a soundtrack (it’s the musical accompaniment to a work by the Montreal-based dance company Animals of Distinction) but the music stands on its own without the movement and lights of the show. The pacing works well, with long periods of intense energy followed by pauses where you can recover while still being nudged forward on the journey.
There are a few moments where the band comes dangerously close to nostalgically recreating early ‘90s shoegaze and industrial, but they find their way back to the dark tension that defines the theme of this music. The repetitive structures and mostly instrumental ebbs and flows allow the album to sit in the background, but there are surprises and a hypnotic depth that hold up to focused listening.
Released: May 21, 2021