A full-length album has been years in the making for Toronto post-punk band FRIGS. The five-year-old act, who once went by the name Dirty Frigs, spent their early years brewing up a storm of noise in small venues like the recently-closed Silver Dollar. (The band credits the venue’s booker Dan Burke with helping to launch their career when they first moved to Toronto from Montréal.) With a couple of EPs under their belt, time finally came for a proper album last year, but the band was faced with a conundrum: How do they fuse their raucous past with a newer, more refined sound?
“While we were confident in the material we had, there was some concern about whether the songs produced from these two separate sessions could come together to form a unified work,” says guitarist Duncan Hay Jennings. He’s talking about piecing together songs recorded at their home studio in 2015-2016, and those captured in their time with producer Ian Gomes (Greys, Odonis Odonis) at Union Sound Company.
When FRIGS first started, they were buzzing with an untamed fervour for sludgy reverb and experimental sounds that drew comparisons to early Sonic Youth. But Jennings admits that the band began to expand their sonic interests, especially “exploring the use of tension a lot more than our previous records. It’s a big part of our live show – dissonance, drastic dynamic shifts – so naturally, it worked its way into the overall vibe of the album.”
That album, Basic Behaviour, found its balance through Holy F__k’s Graham Walsh, who mixed all the tracks. Says Jennings, “He did a wonderful job, providing the right amount of glue to piece it all together.”
Now that FRIGS can tick an album off their checklist, they’re already setting their sights on the next record, aiming to head back into the studio this summer. “We’ve already got roughly five or six songs finished for the next record,” says Jennings. “Almost all of them have been played regularly on tour, if not every night, so we’re feeling comfortable with them. We’re excited about the material and getting it down to tape.”