While I am still unsure what is meant by its name, I felt like I had a triumph of my own by completing the daunting task of listening to all of Frog Eyes’ newest album. Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph is a nine-song collection that had me wondering if the band’s intent was to create music memorable for its unique sound or to put out an odd album for the sake of being “artistically” weird (I’m leaning towards the latter).
The general premise of the record is a dissonant conglomeration of sharp guitars covered with howling vocals that, more often than not, sound like inaudible gibberish. The subpar vocal quality is only intensified by the bizarre lyrics being yowled. The band aims for an idiosyncratic music much like freakfolk projects Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade (Frog Eyes’ keyboardist’s former project). The band’s eccentric rhythms fail to form a sound cohesive enough to keep listeners entertained for the 50-minute length of the album.
The most noteworthy track of the album is “Lear, In The Park,” the only instrumental on the album and also the shortest song of the collection. The song showcases simple strumming of an acoustic guitar paired with a more intricate lead part and is Latin-inspired. The song may be so strong due to the dearth of singer Carey Mercer’s voice or because there is a focused sound on the guitars. As result, the track doesn’t sound as exhausting as other songs on the album.
The sheer length of most of the tracks on the album, ranging from four to nine minutes, is overpowering. To make matters worse, these excessively long songs are ridden with desultory synth and haphazard drum beats. If you were considering buying this album, I would advise against it.