- World excluding USA & Canada
- Psych / Garage
- Catalogue Id:
- VMD 6541
The Frost were a tight four-piece band from Saginaw, Michigan featuring Dick Wagner on lead guitar, Don Hartman on rhythm guitar and harmonica, Gordy Garris on bass and occasional piano and Bob Rigg on drums, with both guitarists contributing lead and backing vocals. Working in the latter half of the sixties, they became a key part of the emerging Detroit rock scene alongside the likes of Iggy & the Stooges and the MC5. They very much reflected the way that rock music had become heavier and more aggressive in the wake of the electrification of the blues and the emerging strength of English blues bands. This was a new macho style of blue collar rock that found a ready audience in the inner city Detroit environs, with Chicago blues roots often being at the heart of the music, most notably here with the nearly eight-minute ‘Donny's Blues’.
The Frost had first emerged with a couple of Vanguard singles in 1967/8 as Dick Wagner and the Frosts and a first album “Frost Music” in 1969. This seven-track second album followed hard on the heels of the first, and features a mix of studio and live tracks. The first six also appeared on three singles the same year, so it was evident that Vanguard was trying to pull out all the plugs to break the band. The title track is a pure in-your-face slab of hard rock, and very much a statement of intent, which makes it a trifle incongruous that the following track, ‘Sweet Lady Love’, is more straight-forward Doobie Brothers-styled boogie rock and then ‘Linda’ is so much softer and gentler by comparison. They did at least immediately show their versatility and musicality with these two, but as the album progresses with ‘Black Train’, ‘Help Me Baby’ and the afore-mentioned ‘Donny's Blues’ it becomes increasingly obvious that the band's heart lay in playing loud and rousing the assembled rabbles. Things culminate with a twelve-minute live version of Mann/Weil's ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ which is certainly constructed to be a exciting crowd-pleaser. Built initially on the well-known bass riff, hard rock vocals drive it on to then bring in various instrumental sections including an extended drum break. It certainly raised the crowd's temperature at Detroit's Grande Ballroom.
This album was followed by a third album, “Through The Eyes Of Love”, the following year, soon after which the band disbanded. Dick Wagner went on to play with some big names including Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, but he has rejoined his Frost colleagues Hartman and Rigg for reunions on several occasions. Though one of the very top acts in the Detroit area, the Frost never achieved the national heights of other similar rock acts like Bob Seger, Grand Funk Railroad or Ted Nugent, but on the stirring evidence of their albums they were more than a force to be reckoned with.