Daptone reggae act Frightnrs debut new track “Purple”
by Andrew Mason
The Frightnrs shouldn’t be this good. A bunch of twenty-somethings from decidedly un-hip Queens playing reggae and not a Jamaican among them? Thankfully, there isn’t a trace of frat-boy ska or patchouli-scented hippie skank to be found in their catalog, an abbreviated oeuvre capped by an upcoming full-length on Daptone that will sadly mark the final chapter in the band’s current configuration. Lead singer and focal point Dan “Brukky” Klein passed away due to complications from ALS earlier this year, a tragic event only tempered by the undeniably evocative songs he left behind.
While Klein’s ability to reference the tones and quirks of golden era Jamaican music with his voice is uncanny, it is more than matched by the band’s mesmerizing fluency with rock steady and early reggae. This crossover period in Jamaican popular music, occurring roughly from 1966 to 1970, is the Frightnrs forte, and they traverse the territory as only loving and dedicated students of the form can. Aiding with the translation of their live sound (the Frightnrs were a formidable live act well-seasoned via numerous dank basement dance sessions) to record was Victor Axelrod, the accomplished keyboardist and producer whose credits run from Antibalas to Amy Winehouse, and a notorious stickler for authentic sonic textures. Axelrod, an integral part of the Daptone family, used the full resources of the now-legendary Brooklyn label to produce Nothing More to Say, the Frightnrs new full-length, which will be released on September 2. Wax Poetics is proud to debut a new cut that amply illustrates the band’s talents, “Purple.”
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