It was not so long ago that occult musicianship was reserved for black metallers and anarcho-punk schizophrenics alike, but last November a little-known freshwater enigma hopped out of obscurity and landed onto slip mats everywhere. Froggy & The Ringes are a secretive garage-rock slash punk outfit suitable for every man and his, uhh, frog?
No one knows the full back story of F&TRs, but we do know that centuries of industrial abuse have ravaged the UK pond scene. Polluted waters flourishing with disease and grime seemed to have spawned… FROGGY. With only 4 Zwiebel Ringes to hand (Ranchard Ringe, Sir Ringe-o-lot, Ringe-o-Starr and Claudio Winkelf-Ringe), a mantra of “Three chords good. Two chords better. One chord best”, and healthy dose of superior German musical-engineering; this frog has mastered the Soft ‘G’ and successfully held it down onto 7” vinyl via Kibou Records (UK), Cimex Records (Sweden), Amok Records (Germany), Toxic Wotsit Records (UK), and No Front Teeth Records (UK).
The group’s “space age, plus-beat sound” is demonstrated alongside primitive punky garage-rock drumbeats, and relatively dissonant guitar lines, in A-side material like ‘Froggy & The Ringes (Soft ‘G’) Theme’ and ‘Auction This’; a combo as potent as the waters they crawled from. Frog samples, worked into the opening bars of drumming, encapsulate their “riotous rock n roll ribbits” from the first moments of play. Establishing that this could be none but F&TRs, before quickly pushing you off the lily pad and ending in little more than 4 minutes. Flip to the B-side and the “individual personality and showmanship”, as well as witty and enjoyable lyricism, that their many followers seem to love them for is displayed in tracks like ‘Don’t Listen’ and ‘(We Are) Cheap Beer’. This “squeal from the lily-pad” is over in roughly 8 minutes; maybe their amphibious selves had to get back in the water… either way, I kinda hope they return one day.
by Matty Cabbage