You knew this was odd when you saw it, right? That’s what a cover can do: tip off the listener to what may be inside. When one hears the giant chords of the opener, the high operatic voice, the military drums and sense of excess, one realizes that this is going to be a strange yet exciting journey. And yes, it’s about frogs, especially one big frog at the bottom of a lake and the submarine that vanishes while trying to intercept it. This is Frogressive Punk, or pronk, or the love child of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle. Four minutes in, the album turns into a giant dance party, only to stop in the middle of the floor like System of a Down’s “Chop Suey.” The kitchen sink has sunk into the silt, resting next to the Universal Frog.
There’s so much energy here that it’s hard to contain. While the attention span of this Russian quartet seems quite limited (the drummer is bashing away by minute eight), it takes intense concentration to change lanes so often without crashing. And that’s exactly what Detieti does, from mangled Beatles riffs and inarticulate screaming (“Lazy Madonna”) to chicken sounds and shouts of “HEY!” (“Rasta Fear”). So many shifts are present in “Murat-Zlurad” that there’s barely any time to return to the slam dance riff ~ the return is truncated to make room for brass expulsions and calliope sounds. There is no subtlety, just a throw-it-to-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks mentality. So someone brought a glockenspiel. And a kalimba. And a beatboxer, just in case. The guests outnumber the band members.
Detieti’s melting pot gains weight as the album progresses (sorry, frogresses). Is that a cowbell in “Diemback?” Yes it is. And there’s the kalimba. Because what could go blend better than these two flavors? Wouldn’t you want to accompany them with made-up words? You would, right? Okay, don’t lie, you would never think of it. But Detieti did. Then they sing and play brass in a bathroom. Now we’re at the end, but the end is long (11:26 to be exact). “Threeptile” is a time signature-changing jam that drifts to the bottom of the lake looking for the submarine, but makes a wonky return. Everything is over the top by necessity; otherwise the band would never have escaped the frog. (Richard Allen)