Frodus (a.k.a. Frodus Conglomerate International, Frodus Sound Laboratories, FCI) was a 1990s Washington, D.C.-based post-hardcore band, described by critics as a mixture of math rock, hardcore punk, and indie rock. Their songs were frequently dark and dissonant.
Frodus' first releases were self-distributed cassettes and 7 inches, such as "Babe", "Tzo-Boy", and "Molotov Cocktail Party". Two other releases ("Fireflies" and "F-Letter"), on now defunct indies, followed. Frodus later signed with Tooth and Nail Records, an independent label out of Seattle, with which they released Conglomerate International in 1998. Most of Frodus' recognition was due to their epic swan song, the 1999 recorded and 2001 released LP on Fueled by Ramen entitled And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea, considered by band members their best recorded work.
On Wednesday October 8, 2008, Gilead Media formally announced that they would be re-releasing Frodus' work on a 2xLP package with full gatefold artwork and an exclusive, unreleased bonus track titled "Attention:Remove." The release is tentatively set for January 27, 2009.
The name Frodus came from the last episode of TV series The Monkees called Mijacogeo (aka The Frodis Caper).
The Frodus "Head" was co-opted from obscure marketing materials of the mid-20th century mentalist–magician Joseph Dunninger, a man who maintained an enigmatic image all of his life. Publicly, he stayed away from magicians and seemed apart from their interests; personally, he loved magic tricks and to root around in magic shops.
This intitial allure of mystery and mental manipulation was a theme that spoke to the band and was adopted on flyers as early as 1993 and later resurfaced in 1997 as an official Frodus icon upon the debut of their musical ode to corporate America, entitled Conglomerate International (Tooth & Nail Records). It is to be noted a link to mentalism and mass manipulation is referenced upon the compact disc itself of said release with the words "mind-control disc" subtly placed under band and album name. Numerous t-shirts containing the "head" logo and phrases were also printed during this time. Such phrases included: "Control is always automatic", "Suspicion breeds confidence" (a reference to the film Brazil), and "Success in paranoia". Coincidentally, the record-label itself also took a turn to corporation-parody with its website and advertising designs at this time.
The members of Frodus went separate ways and partially converged again for a short time. In 2000 Nathan went on to form The Out Circuit and Night Is Invisible (both of which released records on Lujo Records) and Jason went on to drum for Combat Wounded Veteran. In 2003 the founding members Shelby Cinca and Jason Hamacher along with bassist Joe Lally of Fugazi joined to form The Black Sea. They later changed their name to Decahedron. Lally left shortly after the completion of their debut album and was replaced by Jonathan Ford (Unwed Sailor, Roadside Monument). Continually plagued by bassist fluctuation anomalies Jonathan quit in 2004 and was later replaced by Jake Brown (Moments In Grace). In 2005 they suspended operations after the release of their EP entitled "2005." Shelby Cinca then focused on his Swedish project Frantic Mantis with Håkan Johansson and Per Stålberg of Division Of Laura Lee and completed the 3rd album by The Cassettes (Buddyhead Records 2006). In 2006, Jason Hamacher started a project with Mike Schliebaum of Darkest Hour called Zealot and Shelby began releasing IDM Music made on a Game Boy (Game Boy music) with the Nanoloop software under his own name.
2006 also saw the relaunch of the Frodus web-presence and consolidation of its MySpace entities with the help of two Canadian fans/supporters, Stu Hood of SHZINE and Jason Nicholas, who both wear the mark of the Frodus "head" tattooed on their upper arms. The new focus being an organized ongoing project of archiving all known interviews, previous website designs, press clippings, and digital transfers for new media content. Founder Shelby Cinca also began remastering out-of-print releases and adding them into the iTunes library and other digital music services through his partnership with Carcrash Records.
Experimental Rock group Thrice have released a Frodus cover track on their new album The Alchemy Index IV: Earth. "The Earth Isn't Humming" was originally released on And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea.