A Frames

According to the liner notes of A Frames' Black Forest, the trio features a bassist, a drummer and a guitarist by the names of Cholera, Ricketts and Emphysema. Insert contagion metaphor here. Seriously though, the Seattle outfit makes some damn infectious music -- that is, as much so as a scramble of fractured angles and mechanized chants can be. Incubating the apocalyptic sarcasm of post-punk misanthropes Crawling Chaos, In Camera and Minimal Man, the disc is a biopsy of the most diseased regions of the human id, injecting fragments of chords and beats into its lurid, fever-heated nightmares. And when, er, Emphysema robotically chants lines like "No burgers, no sports, no jokes/Civilization was a hoax" (on "Black Forest II") and "I am your experiment!/I am your experiment!" (on the aptly titled "Experiment"), he resembles Ian Curtis with a bad case of croup. Discordant and bleakly comedic, Black Forest is totally worth catching.

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