SLAM WEEK: Frenzal Rhomb – A Man’s Not A Camel

 or: Feisty and explicit: How Frenzal Rhomb hit the jackpot with A Man’s Not A Camel
 
It’s been 20 years since Frenzal Rhomb rocketed into existence and only 13 years since A Man’s Not a Camel hit shelves across the world.

This Aussie punk-rock record is a classic example of a few blokes, a few beers and a few guitars.

Their most popular album to date, A Man’s Not a Camel consists of 15 fast and punchy tracks that reek of Aussie pride and explicit themes.

Frenzal Rhomb knows exactly how to get people pumped up and enjoying themselves even when things aren’t going their way. “Never Had So Much Fun” opens the album with a raw voice and slow guitar until the drums kick in.

Satire and cynicism are two underlying themes that remain constant throughout this album. The tone created not only makes songs like “I Know Everything About Everything” and “Do You Wanna Fight Me?” so much fun to jump around and scream along to but make for a consistent and well-rounded record.

The second track “You Are Not My Friend” helped Frenzal Rhomb go mainstream even though the band takes joy in paying out this scene as much as possible. One of the longest tracks on the album (at only three and a half minutes long), the track is full of witty rhymes and honesty and though a chorus of “You are not my friend, never, ever, ever again” sounds childish, lyrics like “I was thinking you needed a break / What I meant was every bone in your face” bring out the wit and humour in one of the album’s highlights.

Australian values and culture are represented with a tongue-in-cheek attitude in this punk-rock anthem. Narcissism, partying, cigarettes and beer all feature heavily without forgetting essential ballads (even if lungs are interestingly personified).

However sarcastic Frenzal Rhomb gets, this album cannot be denied its element of raw honesty and emotion. The cynicism throughout A Man’s Not A Camel may inspire rebellion but underneath the grungy roughness a strange sincerity can be found in Jay Whalley’s vocals.

Breaking the boundaries in new ways is what Frenzal Rhomb does with every album and this record is no different. To mix things up a bit you’ll find samples of a girl speaking Japanese and some horse race calling thrown in.

Each track on this album is short, fast and loud. As far as great Australian albums go, this is one of the best; punk, rock or otherwise.  
 
by Olivia Whyte

February 29th 2012
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