Exposé Online banner

Frak — Frak
((Not on label) no#, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-06-25

Frak Cover artI'd never heard Frak before seeing their performance at Baja Prog 2014. I found their eclectic and theatrical music quite engaging, with elements of both symphonic prog, space rock, and electronic music all thrown together. The journey starts with "Planeta Frak," where a deep, ominous voice greets the humans of Earth and welcomes them to Frak. Then we're off to "El Eden" on washes of keyboard chords and a distorted slide guitar. When the rhythm starts, the infectious groove is built up with organ and funky guitar backed by bits of electronics. Pyro Zamudio's powerful and unpredictable voice takes charge in Spanish, with the expressive range of Peter Gabriel or Fish (without sounding like either). He will occasionally bring in multiple parts, with different treatments or whispering. "Dia de Muertos" introduces another side to the band, with percussion augmenting the drum kit and flute as an alternate melodic instrument. With "Omnipresente" the electronic side really comes out, kind of like classic Tangerine Dream with a touch of Jean Michel Jarre added — definitely off into space with this one. In "El Loco," the use of multiple voices is taken further, with sinister low phrases engaging high tones in a kind of dialog while maniacal laughs echo in from the distance and emphasize the feeling of madness. The following tracks are just as engaging and divergent, but all recognizably Frak. This is one of the rare cases where 70 minutes is just right and I don't spend the last ten minutes or so fidgeting, ready to move on to something else. Frak is a good example of how having good taste doesn't necessarily lead to boring or predictable music. All of the unusual touches are combined perfectly, resulting in a multifaceted whole consisting of very different parts held together my a true musical vision. By the time Frak played Baja in 2014, there had been some personnel changes, so I'm really looking forward to my next visit to this unique planeta.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Frak

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tone Bearer - Millennium – Tone Bearer is a San Jose six-piece cut squarely from the Marillion and Pendragon mold of neo-prog. The lineup is your standard 5-piece with an additional percussionist and the vocalist doubling on...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues