One of the best parts of music is the sheer amount of it there is. The complexity and differences in genres can take anyone and engage them. There are days when listening to depths of instrumental music is what the doctor ordered. Sometimes on a bad day all you want is to hear some thrash or punk. Then there are some days where all you want is an album that helps us remember the simplicities in life and keep us grounded. Frontier Ruckus has created the latter landscape in their beautiful new release Enter The Kingdom. With so much chaos in the world at the moment, this is just what we need.
A marking of a great crafted album is the ability to create a roller coaster effect in which the pace of the album keeps you along for the ride, with big peaks and gentle comedowns. Some songs like ’27 Dollars’, ‘Positively Freaking’ and ‘Nothing Is Working’ keep the energy and pace up, while in-between these songs lie ‘If You Can’, ‘Sarah Springtime’ and ‘Gauche’ that bring everything back down to a simple and slow pace.
There is a calming effect from Matthew Milia’s vocals, with the strumming of a guitar and banjo with a danceable rhythm section carrying each song with elegance. From the opening track ‘Visit Me’, you get a warm feeling. “Home watching my dad watch the NFL game, alone” is a lyric that so many twenty- something-year-olds can relate to without having a deep meaning behind. The ability to capture moments in words and present nostalgia is something Frontier Ruckus does, with what seems like no effort. Lyrics like “the dumbness of death”, “spring is always coming in a manner of speaking/everything is numbing when it’s not/ positively freaking” and “my galaxy was a fallacy after all/my galaxy was a palace to me after all” engulf you into this world that you don’t know the characters, but have shared the same experiences with and can feel sympathy towards.
’27 dollars’, one of the more upbeat tracks of the album, grabs you with beautifully harmonized vocals and twangy banjo throughout. “Everything will awaken/And if I am not mistaken/You still owe me/27 dollars” is an insanely catchy and totally relatable chorus that has you signing along the second time it comes in the song. We’ve all been there; that moment when you ask a friend for the money they owe you. It’s awkward and you always try to just slip it into conversation. ’27 Dollars’ captures everyday moments like this, perfectly.
Another standout moment is the penultimate track, ‘If You Can’. A slower number on which a somber sounding Milia guitar picks and sings “I got replaced/chapped lips on my wasted face/now every vowel just drips into the night/your lips used to catch my drips sometimes/with delight”, again capturing a moment in time so perfectly; those moments after a breakup seeming like that dark cloud will never leave and trying to drown those feelings. ‘If You Can’ paints an image you clearly visualize.
Nostalgia and relatability is something that music is able to create and bring us together. Frontier Ruckus has done these and created beauty and an honest emotion in Enter The Kingdom. Without a doubt this is an album that will take you on a journey and hold your hand during it.
Enter The Kingdom is out on February 17th via Loose.