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Frosting On The Beater


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Performer Notes
  • The Posies: Ken Stringfellow (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, bass,); Jon Auer (vocals, guitar, vibraphone, bass); Dave Fox (bass); Mike Musburger (drums).
  • Recorded at Ironwood Studios and 316 81st Avenue N., Seattle, Washington and Sear Sound, New York, New York.
  • Having traded in John Leckie's production for Don Fleming's, Seattle's Posies have ceased sounding like the Dukes of Stratosphere's oddly serious, didn't-get-the-joke cousins, and have hit Teenage Fanclub territory squarely. Frosting on the Beater blows away the OK but overvalued Bandwagonesque (with the exception of "Star Sign") at the same game -- like that LP, echoes of Big Star's more frenzied material such as "Kizza Me" abound, only mixed with a more modern punk guitar attack (a lot less Beatlesque than the early '70s). In that sense, they are the perfect backing band for Alex Chilton these days, so it made smart sense for two of these folks to be part of the recent Big Star reunion with Chilton and Jody Stephens. Let's just say they probably didn't have to be taught any of the songs! Power pop has finally lost the new wave connotation (no more sickening Romantics, quirky Sports, too saccharine Records, or dull Bongos, or any of that ilk), having gone back into the big, drippy guitar sounds it began with two decades ago, and the minor mournful chording characteristics still make the genre more affecting when done right like this. Tracks such as "Flavor of the Month" and "Definite Door" resurrect the big harmonies and storming "ahhhhhh" backing vocals that were once a staple, making it hard to keep from singing. This is so nervy, one can even forgive the unforgivable: the chorus of "Dream All Day" steals heavily from Blue yster Cult's AOR rock warhorse "Don't Fear the Reaper." As Bugs might say, "Yipe!" No matter how familiar in style and construction, the modern sound (good job Fleming) and -- most of all -- the ultra-strong, criticism-proof songwriting and hook-laden attack make Frosting the wet dream hard pop album a lot us of thought died along with the Chords, Jam, Secret Affair, and the rest of the blasting mod revival bands. Convincing LP. ~ Jack Rabid
Professional Reviews
Spin (6/93, p.81) - Highly Recommended - "...soothing harmonies and lyrical profundities straight from a bedside journal...glows with hummability, paying joyous respects to earlier bubble-gum saints...a sound that slips and slides between luscious melody and psychedelic mindwarp..."

Alternative Press (7/93, p.86) - "...Their remarkable evocative sound is steeped in the vocabulary of decades of harmonizing guitar bands....This is no wimpy fluff. Rhythmic smarts and constant changes make the Posies intellectually challenging, as well as sheer fun..."

Option (9-10/93, p.121) - "...NOTORIOUS BYRD BROTHERS harmonies and sanded-off chord changes and energetic-yet-restrained drum parts..."

Melody Maker (1/1/94, p.77) - Ranked #17 in Melody Maker's list of the `Albums Of The Year' for 1993 - "...With `Dream All Day,' `Solar Sister' and `Flavour Of The Month' Seattle's Posies contrived one of the greatest trio of pop rock album openers since Big Star's RADIO CITY...."

Musician (6/93, p.90) - "...doesn't waste time on pointlessly pretty sounds...backs bittersweet vocal harmonies with full-on drumming and grungy, garage-schooled guitar work that keeps the focus on the Posies' intricate, idiosyncratic tunes..."

Mojo (Publisher) (4/00, p.119) - "...Their harmony style and keen sense of minor-chord melody are compulsive....this often-remaindered album is probably the best way to remember these virtually unsung heroes of Seattle."

NME (Magazine) (6/12/93, p.34) - 6 - Good - "...Don Fleming's production gives proceedings a perverse edge and the dream-team billing of Wings on Sonic Youth's drug allowance has a blinding impact..."
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