Verdict: 3 / 5
The Frown is a local electronic dance-pop duo. Vocalist, Eve Rakow and beat master Kleinbaas are its constituents. Unbeknown to the masses these two have been garnering acclaim by playing local festivals and collaborating with acts like Spoek Mathambo. ‘Teenage Swim’ is an EP consisting of seven groovy tunes that move from poppy electronic dance to flourishes of deep house.
The first song, titled, ‘Folie a Deux’ conjures the spirit of Beth Ditto’s Gossip. The British band’s style is used but not abused here. Kleinbaas seems to know his stuff, layering funky beats with catchy effects nicely. Eve’s vocals are restrained sitting gently atop the music, wafting catchy melodic phrases all the while. ‘Dark Art’ suggests the two are more nuanced than average electronic drones. Kleinbaas leaves clues which suggest he has a keen ear and wide musical palette from which he draws inspiration. On ‘Dark Art’ we hear a pulsating synth bass arpeggio that is similar to ‘Airwolf’s’ theme song.
‘Lilith’ sure is a catchy tune. The song has a bit of a Basement Jaxx in it juxtaposed with a pinch of local flavor. Eve’s vocal does not work as well on this one. On ‘Lilith’, the offbeat style she uses does not combine as effectively with the throbbing beats. On ‘Pony’ her vocal is another story, as soon as she sings the chorus you’re sold on the track’s cold and hypnotic tones. ‘Metallic Kiss’ is a fairly good song and finds Eve styling her vocals like Bjork’s but the tune sounds too much like what came before.
For its short length, ‘Teenage Swim’ sure packs a punch, getting to the point and reveling in solid electro dance material.