The Frost "Through The Eyes Of Love" (Vanguard Records, 1970)
Before The Frost, there was The Bossmen. Based in Saginaw, Michigan, The Bossmen were one of the most popular bands in and around the area. Fronted by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dick Wagner, the revered band not only tore up the live circuit, but dispensed a string of excellent singles. Evolving from The Bossmen, The Frost also included rhythm guitarist Donny Hartman, bassist Jack Smolinski, who was eventually replaced by Gordy Garris, and drummer Bob Riggs.
A deal with the Vanguard label resulted in a trio of albums, with "Through The Eyes Of Love" being the last in line. Quaking with magnetic force, the album depicts The Frost in all their hungry and emotionally naked glory. The energy is raw but the band's chops are taut and grounded, while a melodic instinct lifts their finely-crafted self-composed material to even higher elevations. Assembled of a hard rock fiber, "Through The Eyes Of Love" shares a bond with the blood of bands like Cream, The Amboy Dukes, Ten Years After, Grand Funk Railroad, and Mountain, but The Frost had their own way of cranking and yanking the jams, that in the process, flooded their songs with a unique and distinctive feel.
A true classic of its genre, every number on "Through The Eyes Of Love" sounds great and has something to say. The title track of the album, an anti-war statement, shimmers and shines with a sincere cry for peace and explodes into a commanding climax showcasing The Frost's powerful instrumental togetherness, crowned by a hypnotic chorus humming with spiritual and poetic vibes. Another song designed of epic proportions is "Black As Night," a raging monster of stimulating turns, twists, and tremors punching in at nearly eight minutes in length. Charted of whizzing grooves and clingy hooks, "Fifteen Hundred Miles (Through The Eyes Of A Beatle)" romps and rolls with excitement by the pound, where "Big Time Spender" and "A Long Way From Home" further define the band's purpose and passion. Stuffed to the pores with enlightening moments, involving striking guitar flourishes, dazzling drumming, and vibrant vocals, "Through The Eyes Of Love" is heavy but harmonious. A cracking collision of electric blues, acid-dappled rock, and psychedelic residue clothe the songs in a pleasingly progressive manner.
Shortly after The Frost splintered, Dick Wagner formed the comparably worthy Ursa Major, which originally featured future-superstar Billy Joel on keyboards. Active in the music business until his ascent to rock and roll heaven in July 2014, Dick worked with a slew of folks ranging from Lou Reed to Alice Cooper to Kiss to Aerosmith. Dick may be gone, but his heart and soul eternally rocks on.
Review made by Beverly Paterson/2015
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