I first heard of Frontier Ruckus from a Discover Weekly playlist some time last year, and I’ve been awaiting an album ever since. Their lyricism, with dry wit and interesting rhymes were a major factor in what drew me to them. Although their writing sometimes verges on pretentious or seems to be trying too hard, it is presented interestingly enough to avoid being annoying to me. They also have a very good grasp on unusual imagery, as in the song “Our Flowers are Still Burning”, which really makes the listener pay attention to the song and hang off every word.
The other main attraction for me was, of course, the music itself. The instrumentation is reminiscent of the Miniature Tigers (specifically the album Tell it to the Volcano). The vocal delivery channels that same album, with touches of the Decemberists and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots-era Flaming Lips. The singers have some very nice, mildly haunting harmonies.
Frontman Matthew Millia has said that
[M]uch of Enter the Kingdom, catalogs that universal, inevitable divorce from childhood wonder. Grandparents and pets, the mascots of youth, dying off one by one. Finding weird escape in self-destruction. The manic back and forth between existential boredom and emergency. Yet, while we’re alive, springtime keeps rolling around. Little miracles keep creeping up on the horizon to give it all some beautiful, amorphous purpose.
and it certainly comes through in the sadly happy (or happily sad?) combination of music and lyrics.
RIYL: Miniature Tigers, Freelance Whales, the Decemberists, Flaming Lips
Recommended Tracks: “Gauche”, “Gerunds”, “27 Dollars”, “Sarah Springtime”, “Our Flowers are Still Burning”, “Positively Freaking”