Fraud Prophets - Poptosis

(CD 2019, 63:04, Independent Release)

The tracks:
  1- I Think I Just Said That(5:48)
  2- Scrubs(5:07)
  3- Homer's Journey(8:15)
  4- Moths And Mosquitoes(6:38)
  5- Eat A Frog(5:43)
  6- Sad People Music(8:55)
  7- The Phlebotomist(5:36)
  8- Skronktastic(6:17)
  9- The Climb(5:29)
10- Two Steps Back(5:13)

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For the music of Fraud Prophets we have to head west, to USA's Los Angeles to be precise. Here drummer's drummer Nate Morton was working with every known name in the area, besides that he used to be the drummer for the US version of “The Voice”. Guitarist Michael Thompson; responsible for one of the best guitar solo's ever “Give Love A Chance” introduced him to guitarist and multi instrumentalist Sean Halley, who had been working writing orchestral music for film and television and as a session musician for the likes of Vinnie Colaiuta, Tony Levin, Richard Marx and Michael Manring. Both musicians felt a deep connection, which led to the recording of Poptosis, their debut album.

Fraud Prophets take their instrumental music back to the seventies, combining jazz, rock and fusion with pop and even country. The opener I Think I Just Said That combines the aforementioned influences in a very fine accessible song. Help came from Matt Rohde, who contributes with his Hammond organ on several tracks on Poptosis. Listening to Scrubs, you hear Sean's musical background; music for films and television. His melodies float on a nice grooving drum pattern, highlighting a fine bass solo and a Scott Henderson type guitar solo. A bit more experimental and fusion style is Homer's Journey. The combination of adventurous drums, Hammond and inspired guitar parts make this a beautiful composition. Moths And Mosquitoes is a smooth song, where Nate play the Cajon. The overall bluesy feel of this song gives the track a bit of a Stevie Ray Vaughan feel, only with a completely different guitar sound. Contrasting with the previous track, Eat A Frog takes you to Nashville, Jenee Fleenor's fiddle enhances the country feel of this song. Where I just wrote about the SRV feeling I had, one of my favourite tracks on the album, Sad People Music gives me the same kind of feeling. This wonderful smooth jazzy bluesy combination with Bob Reynolds on saxophone has a very interesting powerful outburst halfway the track, which makes it so great. Like the previous song, The Phlebotomist starts nice and mellowed, but sees both powerful drums as well as heavy guitar parts as we continue during the track. Oz Noy's contribution on guitar makes the song equally interesting as the previous track. Skronktastic brings back the power and is perhaps the heaviest composition on the album. Based on a strong riff, drummer Nate gets the chance to show himself as a versatile musician. Another smooth bluesy composition is The Climb where sometimes Robben Ford comes to mind, but the overall feel is less bluesy than Ford's music. It's a similar feeling I get when I listen to the album's final composition Two Steps Back, where the song evolves to an almost spontaneous jam in the end.

Fraud Prophets takes the best instrumental elements of a band like Steeley Dan and add parts of Los Lobotomys and HLMP blending them with jazz and smooth blues into its very own distinguished sound. The result is a very pleasant album to listen to, filled with high quality accessible instrumental compositions. Definitely a band we will hear more about in the future.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Dave Smith)

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