New York quartet The Frightnrs – nowadays a trio since singer Dan Klein tragically died on June 9, 2016, from A.L.S. – celebrates the soul of rocksteady on their debut album Nothing More To Say, a set following their dark EP Inna Lovers Quarrell, which was released via Diplo’s label Mad Decent last year.
Nothing More To Say was recorded last year, prior to Dan Klein’s A.L.S. diagnosis. Dan Klein sings about aching love and lost relationships, and these themes now gain second meanings, making reference to a lost life, a life that was too soon.
Dan Klein’s pleading, vulnerable voice – sometimes singing with a captivating falsetto – suits the melancholic melodies and raw and stripped down rhythms very well. He and his three bandmates treat rocksteady with respect, care and devotion and together with producer Victor “Ticklah” Axelrod they bring vintage sounds to a new generation.
This is the first reggae album released on Daptone Records, home to Sharon Jones and several soul bands and singers. And hopefully more releases like this will come.
But for now, I have nothing more to say than just get this charming and mesmerizing album. It’s painful and sweet at the same time. Just like rocksteady should be.
U.S. producer Diplo’s label Mad Decent is probably best known for its many electronic dance music release, often with a strong foothold in the Caribbean and Brazil. But one of the label’s most recent releases is something else. Something completely else.
The Frightnrs is a four piece outfit from New York City with a passion for vintage reggae and eerie rocksteady. Inna Lovers Quarrel is their debut EP and it’s full of vintage reggae spiced with raw energy and rub a dub vibes.
The set is produced by the renowned Victor “Ticklah” Axelrod and the EP was recorded live in the studio using analogue techniques and gear. It gives the set a warm, genuine and organic sound.
Organ and piano is used heavily throughout. Just listen to the head-nodding and organ-driven album opener Argumental. A minor-chord masterpiece.
Lead vocalist Dan Klein has a soaring tone and a high-pitched voice. On Which Way he could probably be confused with the legendary falsetto singer Junior Murvin. The best cut is however lead single Admiration, which comes with a classic rocksteady beat and urgent singing by Dan Klein. The remix of Admiration comes as bit of a surprise. But if you know Cadenza and Toddla T you probably know what to expect.
A killer release, so get ready for a real treat.