Conglomerate International 
Artist: Frodus 
Labels: Tooth and Nail Records 
Time: 13 Tracks, 43:56 

Hey, have you heard the new Christian hardcore band Frodus? 

The above may seem like a valid question, but it is full of misinformation. Frodus is not a new band, they are not a Christian band, and calling their music hardcore doesnít even come close to adequately describing their sound. 

As a band, Frodus put out their first demo in 1993. Since then they have released four full length CDs (including Conglomerate International), various EPs, singles, and cassettes, and have appeared on many compilations. Unfortunately, I have not heard any of their earlier stuff, so that will not factor in to my evaluation of their sound. Sorry. 

Frodus states in a recent interview in HM Magazine (#70 March/April) that they are not a Christian band. "What are they doing on the Christian label T&N?," you ask. Well T&N is not a "Christian" label... (Do I really want to get into this discussion?). Suffice it to say, the "upper management" at T&N say they themselves are Christians, and they do have standards concerning the bands they get behind, but they do not limit themselves to bands that hold to the same beliefs as them. 

Musically, I would describe Frodus as an original-sounding mixture of alternative/modern rock and hardcore, with the latter being the main ingredient. While hardcore seems to be the style they most resemble, Frodus has elements which give them a distinctly different sound from your standard hardcore. They incorporate a lot of cool, funky bass lines and interesting beats, and they put the screaming (for the most part) hardcore vocals down in the mix to a point where they sound more tempered, and less in your face--but not to the point that they are drowned out by the music.  On top of all that, I  think I even hear a bit of Led Zeppelin influence in a couple of places. They have come up with a style that I have never heard before, which has really begun to grow on me...and Lysol doesnít kill it! 

Regarding my enjoyment of individual songs, I must say it varies. There are some tunes that are just a notch above boring (not many), and a few tunes that really draw me in and make me look like a freak as I drive down the road with my stereo turned too loud. There are three instrumentals, two of which are a little spacey and very enjoyable, and even a cover of Devoís 
 "Explosions," which happens to be one of the best tunes on the album (but I donít know how their version compares to the original). 

Lyrically, Frodus has a somewhat futuristic theme. They deal with a world where humanity has been reduced to mindless, routine--following robots, and with no real meaning to life. I get the feeling they look around them and see that, to some extent, we are already there. 

"So their lives became mundane to them. And like they were linked to one mind - they followed themselves to the next trend of walking off bridges." 
(from "Intention: Removal") 

"Shun the shunned. Join humanity today. Drown out to numb skin. The mind is off. Conscience has died. Normalcy and goodness."  (from "The Misaligned Men of Flomaton") 

I like this album and you may too. 

 By Chris King