Fresh Frosting

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!