Album: ‘Party People’s Anthem’ Artist:Fronzilla Date of Release: 29/06/2015 Genre: Rap / Hip-hop / “Metal” Reviewer: Gunter Wurm For Fans Of: The Amity Affliction, Creed, Nickelback
This week I’ve been relaxing at a beach house in Phillip Island (Australia) on a well needed holiday. The sun is shining, the salty offshore breeze is keeping things fresh, and most importantly – no responsibilities. I crank up the in-house XBOX 360 to give good old SKATE 3 a solid session. I can’t skate, so I live vicariously through games such as these. I admit I failed three semester one subjects in my first year due to the seminal Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. Off I went, opening a bag of CC’s and dip, poured a glass of Jameson & Ginger Beer (the most almighty of drinks) and settled down for an afternoon of the finest delights.
I was recently given a copy of ‘Party People’s Anthem’ by ATILLA frontman Chris ‘FRONZILLA’ Fronzak. Fronz is no stranger to controversy. On his recent Australian tour, he threw a microphone at an audience member who was trying to pull him off stage, accidentally hitting the man standing beside him and leaving him with a number of stitches. With this in mind, I was intrigued to see what this release would bring. Every good kick/push session need some obnoxious hip hop, so what a better time to give it a spin and review this unique collection of party anthems. I hit play on the record, started doing my best digital Rodney Mullen impressions on the console, and settled in.
The first chorus drops:
‘LIQUOR IN MY CUP’
Check. I have that.
‘YOU KNOW WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK’
Also, check. I’m on holidays. Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride, ain’t nothing gonna hold me down.
‘CAUSE A PARTY IS A PARTY AND WE CAME TO TURN IT UP’
I’ve got corn chips, dip, party snacks, music, a little buzz and having a great time. I’m the definition of ‘turned up’. All right, so far, so good. After 30 seconds the record is relatable and on point. One gold star.
During the course of my afternoon, I listen to the 29 minute album three times through. It falls into the background as I try to complete the team challenges, try to win the big air competition, and work on nailing the switch backside dark slide to late flip. I’m in the zone with my team ‘CARDBOARD RECORDS’. Suddenly needing to urinate, I pause the game. I do what any self-respecting holiday maker does, and begin to piss off the balcony into the garden, sculling my drink in unison with my flow of wee-wee. While I’m laying the yellow cable, the chorus of his track ‘I’m In Too Deep’ is repeating loudly throughout the house.
‘I’M IN TOO DEEP’…
Holy Moses – how have I listened to this album so many times? Has it added anything to my life, other than being the soundtrack of my frustration at not being able to land video game tricks? Is there some kind of secret illuminati message, buried amongst the beats? What higher message is Fronz actually trying to share with the lovers of the world? Is he simply a beacon of hope and light to those struggling to rustle up the gumption to make the world more of a partying place? Is he an Andrew W.K. incarnate?
I quickly opened my laptop and clicked on Internet Explorer. Nothing. Shit – It’s a holiday house; no WiFi. HOW DOES THIS WORLD KEEP SPINNING? IT’S TWENTY FIFTEEN. I avoid a mild panic attack by rubbing Coles brand spicy capsicum dip all over my face. After a frenzied call to a rather bewildered friend, they explain to me step by step how to tether my iPhone 3 to my computer. World Wide Web connected. I wash my face and pour another drink. It’s in this moment that I understand why the police use capsicum as the active ingredient in their spray.
I go straight to Fronzilla’s Facebook . His ‘About Me’ claims he is the “Next Big White Rapper”. A claim that has my solidly drunk brain intrigued. How can you argue with a claim such as that? It has no quantifiability, but it – like the rabbit down a hole – needs more research. Filling up my cup, I head straight over onto Alta Vista and start by digging up the lyrics for the album.
I find eight out of the 11 songs on various lyric sites. That shows there are some committed Fronzilla fanatics out there. I also realise that I’m probably one of these said fanatics when I discover some of these ‘fans’ have posted incorrect lyrics. Unacceptable. Things need to change, and I’m the self-appointed man for the job. How hard is it to type what you hear? Don’t they teach these skills at schools anymore? I started the record again and got to work, getting more and more agitated as I typed.
After a while I had had enough. I made a drunken, borderline abusive voice message to my primary school-teacher brother, berating him for raising a generation of kids who can’t accurately transcribe hip hop lyrics and upload them on to websites, and almost coming to tears when pleading with him to get WiFi installed at the holiday house. (EDIT: Looks like I won’t be invited to stay at here again. I also wasn’t asked to attend the Christmas family lunch). Finally, I pass out from the extreme level of stress brought about by poorly transcribed lyrics, bad spelling and grammar, and the excesses of booze. My laptop is my pillow. Again.
Waking up, it’s dark. I’m sober. And the album is still on repeat.
I take a cold shower and re-evaluate my life. Sitting back down behind my computer, I see all the work I did over the course of the afternoon, and I’m overcome with disappointment. I pour another Jamo, en-route to drinking away the shame. My priorities are out of whack. Closing the screen, I realise I had a online order of $200 worth of clothes from Fronz’s label ‘Stay Sick Threads’ in my shopping cart. The session had expired. It seems that passing out was a blessing to my bank account.
A quick ctrl+c of all my updated lyrics into a purpose built website that calculates word economy, I learn that Fronz uses approximately 700 unique words. That amounts to less than 100 individual words a song. If you subtract some of the key words; Party,Fuck, Turned up, Bitches, Talk Shit, and Hating, you’re left with less content than the radio friendly version of DJ ASSAULT’s Ass & Tittles.
Many of his lyrics and rhymes are reappropriated from Attilla, and flows from other more noted songs. Take ‘Creeper’ for example – it’s a genuinely creepy song, and a borderline stalker/rape fantasy. It kind of seems like the portrayal of a woman as an object of sexual conquest at any measure, but that’s for the internet to decide. Another honourable/horrible example of his lyrical abilities is featured towards the end of ‘I Ain’t Trippin’’: “Fuck your shit / suck my dick / grab some tits / bleh bleh bleh”. No, I didn’t get lazy and not transcribe the last phrase, I just didn’t know how to spell the noise he makes in the last few syllables of that verse. A Grammy is in the bag for sure.
For all the filler, there is one standout song to my ears – ‘Zilla’, in which ol’ mate Fronz creatively rhymes every last line with his rap name. It’s like he’s watched one too many episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force stoned, with the opening line: “Myyyy naaammmmeee is / Fronzilla / the A.T.L killer / matter of fact some of ya’ll probably know me from Attila”. It continues:
“Going to out to eat, bitch hand me the bill-a’
You think it’s a joke, but I got salmonella,”.
Why would you brag about having a foodborne disease? That’s the fastest way to end a date, or at least put a quick halt to any extracurricular bedroom activities. The only thing that would cut a first date short with me faster than that would be the other party saying that the first two Silverchair albums were their finest work.
I poured another drink. I’m out of Ginger Beer, so I’m switching my mixer to coke. A quick Bing later, I found that the symptoms of Fronz’s braggadocio is “diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps.” That would be my worst nightmare. Paying for a romantic meal, her coming back for a drink, maybe a kiss and a snuggle, and while her privates are near mine, I release bodily waste in a way that leaves the both of us covered in the evidence that our chefs at the restaurant didn’t bother to wash their hands after dropping their own boz. But I digress, THE most obnoxious line on the entire album is the closer of the track Zilla: “Take a deep breath, and relax my nilla.”
It’s the same theory you use as a child – if you change a letter or two of a swear word, you think you are immune to punishment because you didn’t exactly say the ‘naughty’ word. Parents – like the listening public – are much smarter than that. Referring to his listeners/associates as ‘niggas’, could be the most offensive part of the album, or it could be calling a quesadilla ‘Case-a-dill-ahh’ in the line prior. Your choice. I don’t care any more.
This album has sold less than 150 copies in Australia. Of those, I wonder how many have been listened to more than twice. I wonder how many have ended up in op-shops nationwide; presents from a thoughtful uncle to a confused teen who can see it for what it really is. Just because you can say words that rhyme kind of fast over a beat created from an app you downloaded on your iPhone, or from a program that you got from a free CD Rom in the bottom of a box of Nutri Grain, does not make you a rapper. In the same way that being heartbroken and knowing four chords doesn’t makes you acoustic songwriter.
It’s fair to say that Fronz needs his riffs and his breakdowns to stay relevant. This album won’t appeal to hip-hop fans. It won’t appeal to metal (and genre) fans. It will only appeal to a small section of Attila fans – but mostly to just fans of Fronz himself. Which by current sales figures, looks like there aren’t too many in this country. I’m in the process of starting a campaign over the coming weeks to bring the lost op-shop copies back from oblivion to send them home. If you happen to find one, please post it to this website. Include the receipt of postage, CD, and a stamped self-addressed envelope for reimbursement.
In summation, I would like to receive an award for listening to this album more times than anyone else in Australia. When IPHYB have their annual awards, I’ll be there ready and waiting for my metal statue. I’ve already got the suit hired. In the meantime, I’m going back to try and finish Skate 3, and eat cocktail franks, and drown myself in Irish Whiskey.