Chicago native son Mark Grzelak, of Simple Simon fame, is back with the debut record from his new band, Frosting. Out since August of last year, the release marks a return to form for Grzelak, who has spent the time since Simple Simon in a slew of bands including Red Pop Fury, Javelinas, and Petty Cash. Here Mark gets to show off his guitar skills and pull the strings as writer/frontman.
I was turned on to Fresh Frosting by my friend, Dave. A former Chicagoan himself, he thought I might enjoy hearing this new release due to my interest in lyricism and old school rock and roll. I think he was right to suggest this to me, because there is a lot to enjoy on this album.
If you ask me, which you didn’t but you’re reading this so let’s assume you were wondering, I think if Freedy Johnston were to go electric, it would sound a lot like Frosting. Mark has a lot of similar tones in his writing, and their voices remind me of one another, though they’re nothing alike, really. There is a lot of reflecting on Fresh Frosting, though a lot of it is tossed aside a line or two later (example from “King Dawdle”):
When am I gonna learn my lesson
In assertiveness they say, “alas”
Well that seems like too much work to me
I gotta go, I got a date with a chair and a glass
Besides being lyrically strong, Fresh Frosting is also a fun record to just drive around with. There are some great riffs and Mark plays a couple really smokin’ solos throughout the record. And if that isn’t enough for you, Laura Lopardo sings lead vocals on the Lindsey Buckingham-penned “Go Insane,” as well as backup vocals on the rest of the record. Her deep, throaty voice acts as a perfect counter to Mark’s and gives many of the songs added texture and perspective.
If you’re a fan of rock music, as I am, it would probably do you well to pick up this record. You can check out a couple of the songs for free over on Frosting’s website. If you dig what you hear, check out the show tomorrow night, April 19th, at Martyr’s! 9:00 on the dot. Don’t be late!