The Wheel and Axle

Extraordinary Angels

by on Jun.24, 2016, under Music & Theater

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Frente-MarvinTheAlbumRecently, I’ve been revisiting my music collection and came upon my digital copy of the 1994 release of Marvin the Album, which brought back such laidback memories of me listening to the cassette tape (yes, kids, from the Stone Age) in the car on the way to school in the 90s.

Marvin the Album was the debut album of Australian alternative rock indie group Frente! (Exclamation mark required. This was the 90s.) It was originally released in 1992 then had an international release in 1994. With lovely, quirky vocals from Angie Hart, the sometimes-emo, sometimes-psychedelic, and always-playful acoustic music was a sharp contrast to the typically-loud garage/grunge sound of other rock bands of the time. Even the album cover seemed to be a challenge to their usually dark and angsty contemporaries.

frenteWith such tracks as Ordinary Angels (my personal favorite), Labour of Love (yes, there is a “u” because: the Queen’s English), Accidently Kelly Street (that’s a typo they just decided wasn’t a typo; also, this is just such a wonderfully-infectious earworm of a song), No Time (a darker mood in the mostly-bright collection) and Bizarre Love Triangle (a brilliant stripped-down cover of an already brilliant new wave hit)…

… Marvin the Album gave Frente! their rightful place in rock history.

Listening to the album now, it still feels fresh and unique, a standout album in a sea of sameness across almost three decades where only select musicians actually sound different. Frente! was extraordinary back then, and they still remain extraordinary now.

If you don’t have their album, find a copy now: not sure if CDs are still available, and good luck finding a cassette. However, the 21st remastered deluxe version is very much available on iTunes at only frickin’ USD5.99 as of today! That’s about PHP278 only, which costs less than two Starbucks frappuccinos.

The original 1992 album had 13 tracks, with the 1994 international version adding Bizarre Love Triangle as a 14th. The remastered version has 33 tracks. If 33 tracks for USD5.99 isn’t a friggin’ steal, I don’t know what is.

Do yourself a favor. Or rather, favour. Get yourself a copy of this gem.

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Since June 2016