On July 5th, South London duo Frauds released a new single titled, ‘Putin’s Day Off’. The live favourite is the latest in a string of single releases that follow their well-received 2017 debut album With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, an epic amalgamation of blisteringly heavy guitars and wry, satirical lyrics.
“‘Putin’s Day Off’ is a song about perception” Mikey Alvarez explains, “Do you believe that Vladimir Putin killed a bear with his hands? Do you believe that Kim Jong-um climbed a mountain in a suit without breaking a sweat? Do you believe that the things you do and care about are important? Maybe they’re important or real if you believe them to be…and not if you don’t.”
Formed in late 2012 in a dingy rehearsal room in West Croydon, Frauds are an energetic, over-the-top duo comprised of Chris Francombe (drum/vocals) and Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals). The band combines thick jagged riffs and beats with a mixture of humour and anger in equal measure.
We thought it was about time we found out more about what makes the band tick, so we asked them to pick the three albums that have influenced their music.
Micky – Rain Dogs – Tom Waits
I bought this album from Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus when there still were record stores. Someone had told me to listen to Tom Waits so I picked up the three of his albums that were on sale for £5 each. I asked a member of staff which one is the best (I could only afford one) and a few moments later he had called over a couple of colleagues and they were debating – each one vying for their favourite. They gave me a breakdown of each one and the keywords for Rain Dogs were ‘weird’ and ‘circus noises’. SOLD.
At first, the thing that really hooked me in was the guitar playing of Marc Ribot on tracks like ‘Jockey Full Of Bourbon’ and title track ‘Rain Dogs’. Ribot lays down a thick, mysterious, and debauched vibe. His melodies are as important as any vocal line – a truly unique voice. And then the more I listened the more I got to know Tom, or to not know him! He assumes a new character for almost every song – he can be a sailor travelling the world, a gambling failed musician, or simply someone with a broken heart singing to his lost love.
There’s a real freedom to the subject matter and the music throughout the album, and that has been a huge influence on me. We don’t need to sing about the same shit that everyone else sings about or make music in the same way. Also, Keith Richards also plays on a couple of tunes which is rarely a bad thing.
Chris – Queens Of The Stoneage – Queens Of The Stoneage
I purchased this album in my early teens at Virgin Megastore in Croydon as part of a 3 for £15. I was a confused pubescent white suburban male whose hormones wanted him to get into “heavy shit” after watching a bit of mtv2 after school.
Not knowing what I was buying I purchased 3 discs based upon the cover art and these albums were as follows: Blink 182 – Dude Ranch, Sepultura – Roots & Queens Of The Stoneage – Queens Of The Stoneage. I was headed on a holiday the next day with the family down to Cornwall and these were the only CD’s I took. I immediately regretted the Blink 182 decision and I mean I was repulsed. Sepultura made me feel a bit naughty and angsty BUT QOTSA really got under my skin.
The music was weird to me, it wasn’t predictable but it had Hommes vocals that I could grasp onto. As I write this I’m listening to it again and it’s a fucking great album and I know people say “Kyuss man that’s the band” but I wasn’t old enough and I’ve listened to it and its good but yah I prefer this stuff and that’s like my opinion man.
My favourite track is ‘Mexicola’ with its pounding bass and huge riff accentuated by Josh’s guitars and vocals that cut right through the beautiful dirge.
Mikey – Grinderman – Grinderman
This was my introduction to Nick Cave and what a big impression this album made on me. I was immediately taken in by the emphasis on the colourful, poetic and humorous lyrics from the very start. ‘Get It On’ grabbed me by the neck and pushed itself down my throat. I remember laughing my ass off at track 2 ‘No Pussy Blues’ as it’s just so funny and it’s a song with a punch line.
This album is a real piece of me, as it doesn’t say anything profound but its profoundly entertaining and manages to cast a spell over you while you listen to it.
My favourite track is the haunting ‘Electric Alice’. I find this song’s discordance and imperfections strangely comforting.