Over at Velvet Jones on September 17, I had the pleasure of having my eardrums caressed by the lyrical bliss that is The Frights, an American surf-punk band that originated in sunny San Diego. They jammed out all night at Velvet Jones, playing a variety of songs from their recent albums, including songs from Dead Beach, Fur Sure and their latest album, paradoxically called You Are Going To Hate This.
The locale where they performed was absolutely complimentary to their music; from the flashing lights illuminating the red room of Velvet Jones to the mob of elated fans and music lovers blasting their hands into the air, the environment was filled with a sense of gargantuan joy and delight. While lead singer and guitarist Mikey Carnevale serenaded the audience with his dashing vocals, bassist and vocalist Richard Dotson and drummer Marc Finn confidently played along while the room became filled to the brim with songs, shouts and smiles.
Now to the songs: they were some of the most tantalizing indie rock beats I have heard in the last few years. Most of the songs played were from The Frights’ latest album, “You Are Going To Hate This,” released in February of 2016. They opened the show at Velvet Jones with the song “All I Need,” which plays a soft balance between nice, calm beats and rocking guitar solos. Similar to EDM songs with heavy beat drops, “All I Need” has moments where Carnevale softly whispers into the mic while Dotson simply strums his guitar, a serene concoction that builds up to a sudden raging of the guitar and banging of the drums, before being followed up by Carnevale’s singing, which eventually transitions back to the calm moments of the song.
Another standout song is “Afraid of the Dark,” a happy, concise song that mostly aims to play in the background while the audience gets down on the dance floor. Though this song doesn’t necessarily take any risks trying something radically new (it has many beats and notes that are reminiscent of past indie rock bands), it certainly refines previous indie styles with similar notes, resulting in a song that is one of the best in the indie scene.
The Frights played songs from their past albums such as “Ghost” from their Fur Sure album and “Kids on Drugs” from Dead Beach. The band ended the show with the final song on their newest album, called Of Age. This song was definitely one of the best and most unique ones they played all night, beginning with a melody sung by Carnevale backed by an almost ukulele-like strumming from Dotson. Also accompanying the vocals were beats I have never heard before produced from an electric keyboard, which I can only describe as sounding like a xylophone being recorded and played backwards. Whatever sort of knowledge they used to produce this sound, it definitely was a good choice; the song played out as an excellent ending to the night, with the audience becoming reinvigorated after a night of fun in order to enjoy one more song.
The Frights’ show at Velvet Jones was a lot more enjoyable than I was expecting it to be. From the way the band builds upon and improves previous indie tunes to the changes and improvements they are making in some of their newer songs, The Frights is definitely a band that should be on any music lover’s radar.