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CD Review: Frontier Index

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I didn’t like the first beer I tried. I was around fourteen years old attending a party given by a Cajun musician whose son was a little younger than me. I walked up and a beer was immediately thrust into my hand. It almost gagged me when I took a sip. It was a taste one had to get accustomed to, but a most pleasurable one once this happened. The obvious reason I bring this up is because music is sometimes like that. You listen to something and it does nothing to you for the longest and then the mysterious happens and you find yourself enjoying it suddenly. This Rainbow Quartz debut by Frontier Index was like that for me.

I listened to the album at home. I took it on the road with me. But I couldn’t get into their mix of country twang and Beatles derived power pop. I was just about to write the album off as a rare miss from the Rainbow Quartz label, but I’m a glutton for punishment so I kept listening to the disc every few days. Then it happened; Frontier Index went down like a cold mountain brewed beer. Laid back grooves I once found dull fairly glowed with a touch of back porch philosopher genius.

Frontier Index hail from Toronto comprised of Corey Hernden – vocals and guitar, John Hunter – vocals and guitar, Matt Francis – bass, and Mick Jackson – drums. Their style has been referred to as being like “singer/songwriter type tunes, sung by CSN&Y backed by Crazy Horse” but I hear Jayhawks and Beatles myself. I like the yearning strumming of “Collide” and “If It Don’t Work Out” which features the kind of song dynamics that Ryan Adams has used to become both critically praised and scorned. I don’t know how it will work out for Frontier Index, but I appreciate their control. “Silver Suns” is both elegaic and epic like a late September summer afternoon fading toward autumn woodsmoke.

So give the Frontier Index a chance to work its magic. Perhaps it won’t take quite so long for you. I know I’m glad I kept on listening. Their self-titled album is available from Amazon and other fine purveyors of retail goods.

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