The Frantics -- Playing Dumb
Wedge Records, 1996
The Frantics (not to be confused with the Seattle band of the same name or the Frantix, the Denver-based hardcore outfit) were a fairly successful snotcore band during the latter half of the 1990s. On Playing Dumb, the band's second 7' EP, the Frantics churn out four solid tunes decrying petty high school behavior, celebrating trouble-making grade schoolers, and championing the sort of punk rock born of slackerdom that would make the band one of the subgenre's most consistently fun groups over the next five years. Nevertheless, with the exception of a few moments on "Gimme A Doller Inc." and the title track, there's not a whole lot of pogo-worthy music on this disk. While the band's trademark buzzy guitars and nasally vocals are out in full force, Playing Dumb pales in comparison to the band's subsequent release, 1997's thoroughly rocking Downtown Delirium. Still, for a bunch of kids barely out of high school, Playing Dumb is an admirable achievement that showcases the early development of one of the snottier pop-punk bands of the late nineties.
Although the mixing on Playing Dumb is somewhat uneven (Anthony Rampant's bass is almost lost on "Bad Little Boy," for instance, and Kevin Mac's vocals would benefit from a bit more volume at times), the record is good enough to dust off for a listen every once in a while.
Sobriquet Grade: 78 (C+).