Harmburger is a rowdy and energetic album, featuring songs that range from the light and silly (“Senior Citizen,” a song about yearning for early bird specials) to the painful and vulnerable (“Rippin’ My Skin,” “Spring Fever”). The riot grrrl and queercore influences on Froggy’s overall sound are apparent – you can hear dashes of L7 and Babes in Toyland. But they’re not just emulating that scene, they’re reshaping it and molding it into their own, more modern sound. It’s Froggy-core!
There’s so much personality on display throughout the record – their charisma and chemistry is undeniable. Right from track one, listeners are treated to the riotous “Kill Your Girlfriend” ripping through their speakers. Both singers, Brooke Feenie and Morgan McClain, appear on the track, with Feenie taking the lead and McClain’s shouts punctuating each line (“Don’t like the way that SHE WALKS/or the way that SHE TALKS”).
Throughout the track list, the two take turns on the lead mic, and the dual vocalist dynamic works really well. Feenie’s wry delivery is perfect for songs like “Senior Citizen” or the mocking interlude on “Stupid Rich Boy.” McClain’s verses, on the other hand, are generally harsher and grittier. They both play off of one another very well, and really, either of them can nail a good tongue-in-cheek delivery or an angsty wail.
Instrumentally, Harmburger is solid and filled with grungy power chords and fantastic thrumming basslines (especially on “Jimmy’s Song”), while Fiona Clark sets the frantic, high-energy pace on drums. The LP clocks in at just over 20 minutes, but these songs pack a LOT into such a short span of time. It’s a magnetic listen thanks to the gripping mix of growls, bellows, wails, and riffs.
A few songs on here are tapped into classic high school angst – like “Jimmy’s Song” and “Kill Your Girlfriend” – but the album doesn’t feel juvenile. In fact, I’d say Froggy is more mature than many pop-punk dudes twice their age – the “Midwest Emo Scum,” if you will. A few tracks on here cut deep emotionally, like the stand-out “Rippin’ My Skin” (“Admired how I was so tiny/eating my flesh away, you could not find me/Took away my dignity/’cause you’re so in love with petite femininity”). Harmburger closes out with “Farewell,” a gorgeous, grunge-gaze track that still retains grittiness.
But maybe the greatest thing about Froggy is that they’re not afraid to call out fake feminist dudes, sex pests in the music scene, and industry sexism. In a recent interview with MMH Radio UK, McClaine talks candidly about challenges the band has faced, saying that the “two main ones” are “the harassment we get as femme individuals” and “men or older people mansplaining or thinking we’re incapable of doing things. […] We try to bring a lot of awareness to the problem to call out and remind specific people of this.”
That’s a brave thing to do, and one of the punkest things you can do. To be openly discussing the harm that older (primarily cis white straight) men have caused you is pretty risky – you can potentially alienate venue owners, producers, or industry big wigs; all positions disproportionately held by said older cis white straight dudes.
But Froggy says, “fuck that.” They’re making the music they want to make, shitty dudes be damned. Their words and their music clearly show that they’re not tolerating condescension or predation, and neither should you.