Released on December 27, 2020 (Frontline)
Any mention of rock and roll from Dutch providence Delft is sure to attract a good bit of head scratching and with good reason. Despite normally a popular European tourist spot, you’d still more than likely be hard pressed to find many rock fans even familiar with the city’s two main attractions – centuries old architecture and blue pottery never mind any sort of local rock and roll. Despite being mostly thought of for its centuries old contributions to arts and sciences, modern music has found its way into the city core mainly through mostly dance and pop sounds but now also through the rock, punk and metal inspired songs of quintet rockers Frontline.
Since seeking out vocalist Thomas Kunst, bassist Steven Wijtenburg, drummer Jamal van Kastel, and fellow six stringer Thijs Stoffelen in order to perform a collection of hard rock tunes he’d penned, guitarist Arti Flinkerbusch has led a rock and roll journey starting from monthly jam sessions in a medieval cellar to the pre-coronavirus club scene. But being pulled over by the virus has not stopped Arti and the band from moving forward with plans including the recent release of EP Accidental Gathering, the first step before Frontline‘s planned summer debut full-length release.
Taking inspiration from bands like Guns N’ Roses and Thin Lizzy, Flinkerbusch has created some pretty solid rock and roll that punches in somewhere in between classic ’70s rock and ’90s grunge, which could have a lot to do with having a bassist into punk rock and a heavy metal loving drummer. On Accidental Gathering, it’s obvious that even with all the songs coming first, the band is truly the sum of all its musical parts. Of the EP’s four songs “Tower of Lies” is the strongest as well as the most to offer lyrically, walking the line somewhere between old school Canadian rock like April Wine and very early green Def Leppard. “Love Creeps” has a sort of rock side of The Cult quality to it while “Cheating Is Easy” comes off like a modernized loose take on old school cowbell powered Grand Funk Railroad complete with solid hummy rocking guitar solo. The story telling classic rock sounding “Keep It A Secret” is nothing ground breaking or world changing. It’s just cool bass walking, sing-along barroom rock and roll.
While maybe not as out of the box original as Delft’s blue pottery or paintings, it’s clearly obvious that even in Frontline‘s green sounding introductory musical offering, there’s something at least a tad more than just paint by numbers rock and roll. Kunst‘s vocals have just enough of an accent to give it a unique edge and the musicianship is solid not to mention songs and production more classic rock than the average Dutch band. It’s clearly the sound of a very young band in progress with a good ways to go. Accidental Gathering shows enough rock and roll potential to make many rock fans interested enough to stick around for what happens next. Currently, Frontline might just be a gem waiting to be polished but with enough hard work and attention, somewhere down the road, homegrown fans might no longer be able to “Keep It A Secret” and hold Frontline all to themselves.
01. Keep It A Secret
02. Love Creeps
03. Cheating Is Easy
04. Tower of Lies
Thomas Kunst – vocals
Arti Flinkerbusch – lead guitar
Thijs Stoffelen – rhythm guitar
Steven Wijtenburg – bass guitar
Jamal van Kastel – drums
Produced by Frontline
Maxing and mastering by Thijs Stoffelen
Reviewed by John Stoney Cannon for Sleaze Roxx, January 2021
Frontline‘s “Keep It A Secret” single: