Review: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ ‘Fronzoli’ Takes Listeners Through a Fast, Chaotic, and Maximal Kaleidoscope of Textured Sound

Fronzoli - Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Fronzoli - Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Ragged, unpolished and extremely over-the-top, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ ‘Fronzoli’ may prove that more is more when it comes to psychedelic rock. 
by guest writer Heidi Reid
Stream: ‘Fronzoli’ – Psychedelic Porn Crumpets




According to Cambridge Dictionary, the Italian word “fronzoli” refers to something unnecessary added as decoration and roughly translates into “frills.”

The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets took this notion to heart with their sixth album in seven years, sticking to their guns and writing what they know rather than dipping into a different genre or introducing a shiny new sound. Released November 10, 2023 via What Reality? Records, Fronzoli has been described by frontman Jack McEwan as “half an hour of ADHD onto a record”: The Aussie outfit added every frill and frump onto their already electrifying sound and took listeners through a chaotic kaleidoscope of psychedelic with a necessary touch of classic rock.

Fronzoli - Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Fronzoli – Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

This highly-anticipated album has been teased since May, with the first single and possibly the most chaotic song from the album, “Nootmare (K.I.L.L.I.n.G) [Meow!].” The headbanger track offers to set the stage for the melody and grooves of the rest of the album.

The chaotic charm of “(I’m a Kadavar) Alakazam” is heavily reminiscent of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s sound in Murder of the Universe, while “Cpt. Gravity Mouse Welcome” notably (and enjoyably) takes a step back from the spinning disorder to pursue a more surf rock type of sound, similar to Skegss. These likenesses reflect how the album creates an engaging narrative using diverse influences and inspiration from their home country of Australia.

Taking the “more is more” mindset head on also extends to the lyrics and it appears they opted to only add more chaos with the extremely niche and nearly indecipherable words thrown into most of the songs on the first half of the album. McEwan has said the songwriting process normally starts with a riff or a heavy breakdown from a jam session, then bass is added and lyrics last, almost as an afterthought. The maximalist mindset tends to narrow many of their lyrics down to just noise. Although the added noise of words does add a crucial final touch of madness to many of their songs, they have proven before that lyrics can be chaotic and over-the-top and still relate to listeners. The faster and heavier the song, the more the lyrics lack a multidimensional feel. They feel hastily written and a bit far-fetched. It seems PPC have found a meaningful sound that is here to stay, but still can’t hit the nail on the head with the words to top that sound off.

The group seemed to realize that nonsensical and loud lyrics can only be paired with a nonsensical sound. One of the exceptions to the lack of intricate writing is the aforementioned slower “Cpt. Gravity Mouse Welcome” that aims for surf rock over psychedelia.

I’m sure you’ve seen a face or two before, you know
Look around at the trees painting caricatures of you
Ain’t it nice to see cradled energy, all around?

All Aboard The S.S. Sinker” offers a contagious and upbeat rhythm paired with somber lyrics about a loved one overdosing. Despite the odd pairing and definite mood change, the track delivers the best of the album. “Hot! Heat! Wow! Hot!” takes a step back from psychedelia to pursue a lighter, borderline folk, rock in a manner similar to the Arctic Monkeys. “Mr & Mrs Misanthrope” is a cinematic ending to their masterpiece, closing the album with a reflection on the repetitive cynicism of life.




At just 33 minutes, the maximalist Fronzoli brings chaos in and out quickly and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

McEwan acknowledges the beautiful mess he made, referring to his masterpiece as having a questionable beauty only a mother could love. “And the listener is now the parent, so cradle it, raise it and give it a good home.”

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Heidi Reid (she/her) is a Raleigh-based writer, social media manager and psychedelic rock enthusiast. In her free time, she can be found scoping out local live music, thrifting or reading anything by Kurt Vonnegut. You can reach her on Linkedin @Heidi Reid or find her on Instagram: @heidi.laurel.

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:: stream/purchase Fronzoli here ::
:: connect with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets here ::



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