Who wants to hear some good-natured blasphemy? Following last year’s excellent reissue of The Frogs’ notorious It’s Only Right And Natural LP, the band is coming full circle: For the first time ever on vinyl, the music recorded way back in January 1986—and originally intended to be the group’s first release—is finally seeing the light of day. 1st (out April 3 via End Of All Music) collects the music brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion captured on tape more than 30 years ago, before deciding an overabundance of reverb had ruined the recording, leading to the subsequent alternate debut album, 1988's The Frogs. In 2018, six years after Dennis’ passing in 2012, Jimmy Flemion returned to a studio with the recordings, wholly remastering them and fixing the reverb issue.
The result is one of the purest representations of The Frogs available, their initial music in its raw essence available to delight, offend, and hum along in equal measure. The A.V. Club is exclusively debuting the second single, “The Business Man (8th Day),” and it is quintessential Frogs. The first minute or so repeats a single electric guitar lick, paired to a recounting of god’s first seven days creating the universe, like a funhouse-mirror follow-up to Jesus Christ Superstar’s “39 Lashes.” But then it erupts into distorted riffing and pounding drums, as the lyrics recount god’s subsequent creation of a business man and the eventual meeting with the devil. You know, the usual Christian stuff. Jimmy Flemion described it to The A.V Club thusly, and in appropriately enigmatic style:
“Heedless, the starving artist/ musician often gets overlooked as to time invested to and whatever means necessary. There’s always someone behind the scenes making it all possible with their capital investment and assisting in making it all work and bringing it all together. It takes a buck to make a buck, this collective group quest for the cause. The businessman /artist/ musician/ singer / songwriter never rests, working non stop for the good of all and the partnership bond that never ends. On the 8th day god created the businessman...”
1st is available for pre-order now, and the band is hitting the West Coast for a string of dates starting tomorrow, with The Lemonheads’ Evan Dando teaming up with Jimmy for the entire tour. (The complete list of shows can be found here.)