Frenzal Rhomb

Frenzal Rhomb is an Australian punk rock band that formed in 1991, based in the city of Sydney. The band's current lineup is Jason Whalley (vocals), Lindsay McDougall (guitar), Tom Crease (bass) and Gordy Foreman (drums). McDougall is also responsible for Rock Against Howard, a compilation by Australian musicians against John Howard's government.


After touring as the support act while American punk rock bands Bad Religion, The Offspring and Blink-182 were in Australia, the group released their first album, 1995's Coughing Up a Storm (although their first release had been 1994's Dick Sandwich EP). Retitled Once a Jolly Swagman Always a Jolly Swagman, the album was issued on America's Liberation Records label two years later. Fat Mike, owner of Fat Wreck Chords and member of NOFX, got his hands on a copy of this album when NOFX toured with Frenzal in 1996. Impressed with what he heard, he apparently asked Jay if he'd fancy to bet the fate of the band to a game of pool. A victory to Jay later, Fat Mike had signed the band to Fat Wreck and released the 4 Litres EP, and soon became one of the biggest independent Australian bands. With the release of their second album Not So Tough Now, they were the self proclaimed 'Punkest Band on Earth'. In September 1997, the band released the album Meet The Family, their first with new guitarist Lindsay McDougall after original guitarist Ben Costello left to become a full time animal rights activist. The album was the first Frenzal LP to be certified gold in Australia. Frenzal Rhomb were also the headliners for the Australian leg of the 1998 Vans Warped Tour (they were recruited for the American edition as well).

The LP A Man's Not A Camel was released in Australia in March 1999 and was supported by a nationwide tour. It remains Frenzal Rhombs' highest placing album to date, reaching 11 on the ARIA charts (it also spawned Frenzal's highest placing single, "You Are Not My Friend", which reached No. 48). Overseas gigs in the USA were dropped after singer Jason Whalley suffered a heart attack in late 1999 and Frenzal Rhomb spent the first few months of 2000 lying low. They returned with the album Shut Your Mouth in November 2000, originally released on Epic Records in Australia, an off-shoot of Sony. After poor sales and reviews and an awkward few months, Sony dropped the band in mid 2001 and they then signed with Epitaph Records in Australia.

Without warning in April 2002, Lex Feltham left Frenzal Rhomb. The band claimed many wild stories about why he left, but one of the most amusing was that he was fired after thinking that Frenzal Rhomb should incorporate synth and keyboard work. The last song he recorded with the band was a cover of Midnight Oil's "The Dead Heart" for a tribute album. Rumours of him being a DJ in Sydney have surfaced, yet nothing concrete. After holding auditions in Sydney, Tom Crease was announced as the new Frenzal Rhomb bass player.

The band also appeared on the "World of Instruments" segment of "John Safran's Music Jamboree", where they played the song "Punch In The Face"

In April 2003, the band released Sans Souci. The album was Frenzal's most critically successful to date (save for perhaps Coughing Up A Storm, or Not So Tough Now) and was hailed as a return to form. Fat Wreck Chords were planning to release a vinyl LP of the album (as they had done with the preceding two albums) but withdrew it at the last moment.

Jackie O controversy

The band caused a stir in the world of Australian commercial radio in July 2004 when they were threatened to be "buried" by commercial station 2Day FM, after an incident involving the band and 2Day FM presenter Jackie O at Bass in the Grass in Darwin. Showing up almost too late to catch any of the gig she was supposed to MC, Jackie O attempted to speak with the audience during Frenzal Rhomb's already dramatically reduced set time. The band began playing over the top of her and Lindsay was heard saying "Jackie O... what the fuck?". Jackie O and her co-presenter, Kyle Sandilands called Jay while on air to demand an apology. There is controversy in regards to who the 'winner' of the on-air argument was, Kyle and Jackie O believing Jay to be hypocritical and offensive, while fans of the Frenzal Rhomb camp believed Jay to be calm and lucid while Jackie O and Kyle were childish and insulting. It cannot be denied that both parties exchanged insults, Jay asking Jackie O if she was "so precious that she couldn't handle a little bit of heckling while Kyle threatened violence, commercial penalties and called Jay an idiot. ABC Television's Media Watch covered the exchange and raised further issues about the conduct of Kyle and Jackie O. The whole conversation was streamed by and transcribed by Craig New on the 'OutwiththeNew' website and also on Frenzal Rhomb's myspace but it is no longer accessible from these sources. The conversation is currently on Youtube. This incident resulted in Frenzal Rhomb being removed from the playlist of all Austereo radio stations, including the 2DayFM network and Triple M.

Current involvements

Jason Whalley and Lindsay McDougall also worked on radio as Jay and the Doctor. Their biggest role was as Triple J's breakfast show hosts from 2005 through 2007. Drummer Gordy Forman also plays in the Melbourne hardcore giant Mindsnare.

Jay and Lindsay also have a musical side project with Bow Campbell from Front End Loader, called the Self Righteous Brothers. Largely based on the outrageous American band, The Frogs, the Self Righteous Brothers are an essentially acoustic acts with very explicit lyrics covering the topics such as pregnant junkies and incest.

Frenzal Rhomb's most recent release was October 14th's Forever Malcolm Young which includes, for a limited time, a special edition DVD cover the bands touring exploits from 2002 up until 2005. It is titled Sucking All Over the World. Jay stated at one of thier last performances at the Metro Theater in Sydney, "don't expect to see us around for awhile cunts".

On Friday the 26th of Septemeber 2008 a bulliten was posted on Frenzal Rhomb's myspace stating the possibility of touring again;

"So it looks like Jay is coming home from his year-long overseas jaunt sometime in Feb, and there's a 95% chance we're gonna do a Capital City tour in March. I say 95% because there's every possibility, being that Jay's been to some fucked up, out of the way places, that he'll come back as a dreadlocked, pot-smoking hippy who's pretty much resigned from society and won't even remember that he's in a band. . .oh, wait a minute. . . Anyway, we're going to tour, and as soon as we have more info, you'll fucken know about it. Up ya bum, and GO HAWKS. gordy"





EPs and singles




External links

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