[Review] cHoclat FRoG – Snapshot

cHoclat FRoG is a project that was born in 2017 after Christof Engel decided to leave The Stock and Tim and Rainer Ludwig (Bass and Drum) decided to continue alone. This choice led them to start recording their new ideas directly, without composition using only the rehearsals. Their self-produced debut album entitled “Snapshot” was released on June 16, 2021 and is split into 11 linked parts, which can also be listened to individually. The album is a mixture of styles and genres where the technique of the musicians stands out and comes together to give life to energetic and engaging tracks. I find the vocal parts and the lyrics themselves very interesting and current and fit well into the sound context of the album. The constant tempo changes make the rhythmic session very elaborate and at times intricate, allowing the instruments to develop original melodies. It is difficult to categorize and belittle the work of the band by enclosing their sound within stereotypes of pure encyclopedic interest, we are faced with something that goes beyond. The artists’ intent to create something out of the box has succeeded, the themes developed here present unpredictable passages that show how many ideas are. The description they provide on Bandcamp best describes the intentions of the album, tracks born from numerous studio tests, which led to a final version on the disc. The guests involved turned out to be up to such a sophisticated, yet accessible job, which deserves more than a listen but which will ultimately give the listener a lot of satisfaction. Some passages are complicated to understand after the first listen, as well as the many facets of their sound, but this album is pleasant to listen to. I found similarities with Frank Zappa’s proposals, especially in the drafting of the songs and the approach to the sung parts, also because a band that offers a record of this type will certainly have drawn inspiration from him. In reality, the difficult classification derives from the fact that the band has very personal characters, which are difficult to listen to in other bands, this makes what you go to listen very interesting. The mixes between keyboards and guitars is always highly sought after, developing harmonies at times virtuous, where however the solo parts are functional to the success of the sound. Intensity remains high throughout the record, where even harder inserts with distorted guitars manage to be contextualized. An album recommended to all lovers of the eclectic sounds of Prog Rock, a starting genre from which all the sonorous nuances that the band offers branch out. It will be very interesting to listen to them live, where surely their creative and improvisational streak will be able to express itself even freer from the schemes of an instudio album. Despite the schemes this band interprets them in its own way, and in my opinion their approach is winning and very interesting because it is different from what the canonical proposal is.

Tracklist

01. Part I (Opposites) (06:01)
02. Part II (Army of the wise guys) (05:05)
03. Part III (Philosophers) (06:04)
04. Part IV (Useless talk) (05:49)
05. Part V (Need to survive) (06:17)
06. Part VI (Everything…) (01:35)
07. Part VII (Monsters – I need more bucks!) (06:34)
08. Part VIII (Metropolis) (03:58)
09. Part IX (The drinker) (05:36)
10. Part X (Bastard neighbor) (04:20)
11. Part XI (Where language ends music begins) (08:47)

Lineup

Tim Ludwig / All Basses, Guitars (most of them) and Additional Voice in Part III Intro
Rainer Ludwig / Vocals, Drums, Percussions, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Guitar, Whistle and Programming

Guest Musicians:
Pt II and Pt IV / Christof Engel (Guitar Solos)
Pt IV / Floyd Anthony (Screaming Voice)
Pt V / Dietmar Appel (Guitar Solo)
Pt VII and Pt VIII / Uwe Grunert (Guitar Solos)
Pt X / Monica Ludwig (Additional „kid“ Voice)

cHoclat FRoG |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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