Frustrations: Transmission from the Ether 12" (new)

X! Records

$16.00

On their long-awaited third album, Transmission From the Ether, Detroit's Frustrations evoke the sonic mood of a psychedelic fever dream permeated with the urgent unease of modern life. Careful time was spent honing these tracks at practice and in the studio to create an album with depth that holds up to multiple listens—without sacrificing any of the anxious energy that propels it all.

The new album presents a fully fleshed out amalgam of weird punk noisy strain akin to the sonically varied noise rock of Unwound, off-kilter structures of Pere Ubu, and fuzzed out riffs of Mudhoney but all with an acid-fried Detroit vibe. Or, as a fan once put it, "something like Mission of Burma with the drummer from the Minutemen and bass player from Shellac filling in." Killer cover art by Mac Blackout.


Our take: The last time that I caught up with Detroit's Frustrations was way back in 2011 when they released the excellent Negative Reflections. I thought that record deserved way more attention than it got. Back then I remember thinking that they sounded similar to the early Protomartyr stuff or Sorry State's own Whatever Brains' material from that period. I don't know whether they've changed a little bit or the context around them has just changed, but nowadays I'd classify them alongside bands like Destruction Unit or Ukiah Drag, i.e. bands who have fingers simultaneously in heavy psych-informed rock, the more Stooges-influenced end of the post-punk spectrum (i.e. the Birthday Party, some particular tracks by the Fall), DIY punk, and 80s and early 90s indie rock. It's a pleasing combo, and while Frustrations don't have, say, Protomartyr or Parquet Courts' pop edge, their songs are dense with ideas, powerfully played, and memorable. They may just be one of those bands who's a bit too heavy and punk for the indie crowd and a little too intellectual for the punks, but as someone who is perfectly happy to move between those worlds I really, really like this.
Tags: 10s garage gb325 post-punk punk