The Frustrators – Griller EP

February 15, 2011
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The Frustrators

Griller EP


When he’s not playing bass for one of the biggest bands in the world, Green Day’s Mike Dirnt lends his stylings to the Frustrators, a sporadically active side project comprising a bunch of longtime friends who have a refreshing, back-to-basics feel not unlike the side project of his Green Day bandmate Billie Joe Armstrong, Pinhead Gunpowder.

That’s where the comparisons between the two groups end, however; while Pinhead Gunpowder play a brand of fuzzy, haphazard pop-punk, the approach of the Frustrators is tighter and more calculated while maintaining a distinctly East Bay sound and attitude. It’s obvious that there’s no pressure on the band, and the songs that make up their new EP and first release in nine years, Griller, are better for it.

For the most part, the Frustrators’ take on the Northern California sound is played pretty close to the chest, proving frequent comparisons to American Steel and Jawbreaker readily evident. “Stigma” contains the same sort of melodic, mid-tempo, weathered approach we heard from those bands in their respective heydays. The group also do an admirable job at applying that aesthetic to what are essentially straight-up power-pop songs in “Prettiest Girl” and “We Need To Talk (It's Not You, It's Us).”

The lone curveball on Griller might be “West Of Texas (Part 2),” which sees the band successfully meld reverb-laced riffs in the intro and chorus with aggressive power chords. It’s an impressive marriage even if it’s not completely out of the band’s wheelhouse, and the guitar work of Terry Linehan, particularly the soloing that closes the track, deserves praise. A fun listen throughout its 11 minutes, Griller exemplifies the sort of welcome familiarity listeners generally expect from projects like this.


“West Of Texas (Part 2)”

Written by Bryne Yancey

Position: Former Web Editor HQ: Orlando, FL (soon to be Cleveland, OH) Nice to meet you! I'm Bryne Yancey, the former web editor for Alternative Press. Prior to joining AP full-time, I volunteered at and freelanced for Myspace Music and AP, writing reviews and such.  I enjoy 80s thrash metal, leather-jacket pop-punk, obscure 90s/2000s emo, contemporary crust-core, and plenty in between. I'm a big fan of pizza, nachos, dessert, sleeveless t-shirts, wearing shorts year-round, sunglasses, science fiction, dry humor, horror, the Florida Marlins, the Orlando Magic, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vinyl is great; Spotify is equally and differently great. Green Day's "Dookie," Bad Religion's "All Ages," and the Suicide Machines' "Battle Hymns" changed my life. I don't think our scene has ever been as exciting or promising as it is right now. Top ten albums OF ALL TIME (but in no particular order): Saves The Day - Stay What You Are Green Day - Warning Jimmy Eat World - Futures Snapcase - Designs For Automotion Hot Water Music - Caution Metallica - ...And Justice For All The Suicide Machines - Battle Hymns Bad Religion - The Process of Belief The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told Descendents - ALL Twitter | Tumblr