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Frontier Index East Coast Dates


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Sean and Dave-O, you better represent!!

One of my favourite bands has released a few dates for the fall, most notable for the people here are some east-coast dates with the Sadies, Toronto at Ear to the Ground, and a Peterpatch show with Cuff the Duke.

Sept. 10th - Ovation Music Festival - Stratford

Frontier Index opening for Our Lady Peace, Sloan, and Finger Eleven. Visit standingovation.ca for tickets.

September 16th - Arlene's Grocery - New York City

CMJ Music Festival. Frontier Index w/ The High Dials and more. Early show at 7pm.

Sept. 18th - Ear to the Ground Festival - Toronto (Exhibition Place)

Frontier Index playing Sunday Ruckus Stage w/ Joel Plaskett, The High Dials, The Old Soul, Barmitzvah Brothers and more. Visit eartothegroundfest.com for more info.

September 23rd - The Trasheteria - Peterborough

Frontier Index w/ Cuff the Duke. Doors @ 9pm.

September 29th - George's Roadhouse - Sackville, NB

Frontier Index w/ The Sadies.

September 30th - Paramount Lounge - Moncton, NB

Frontier Index w/ The Sadies.

October 1st - Stage Nine - Halifax, NS

Frontier Index w/ The Sadies.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Some new reviews of the album...


Exclaim Cd Review


While it's not unusual for Canadian bands to immerse themselves in California-inspired country-pop, few have interepreted it so well. The Toronto quartet keep their sound relatively sparse -- guitars, bass, drums, and harmonies -- but manage to conjure gorgeous melodies that rival the recent work of the Thrills, as well as echoing the grit of Kings of Leon without sounding derivative. Although the first few songs lean toward the power pop side of the band, things proceed in a more country-rock direction with brilliant mid-tempo ballads "San Antone", "I Ain't Hurtin'" and "Picture in Pocket." The interplay between front-men Corey Hernden and John Hunter is the real strength of the band, best displayed on "Silver Suns," where their guitars weave together like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd at their best in Television. It would be interesting to see what they could do with a wider sonic palette, but Frontier Index is an excellent sample of their top-notch musicianship and songwriting. (Rainbow Quartz, www.rainbowquartz.com)

Jason Schneider

Ottawa Express Review

Ottawa Express

Frontier Index

Steve Guimond

Rainbow Quartz's recent exploitation of Canadian talent continues with the debut drop by Stratford, Ontario's Frontier Index. Much like fellow labelmates and countrymen The High Dials and The Telepathic Butterflies, Frontier Index explore musical trends of a time gone by. While the former two focus on crystalline pop, the latter takes us to the bottom of an empty beer bottle on a Friday night in a shit-kicker bar, straddling the tricky line between country, pop and rock. For the most part, this works very well, due largely to the golden pipes of frontman Corey Hernden. Ottawa Express (Sept 1/2005)

Splendid Magazine "Frontier Index" CD Review

Splendid Magazine

What is about Canadian bands and country music? The way bluegrass, honky-tonk, and other shit-kicking bands are sprouting up out of the Great White North, you'd think that Toronto was the new Nashville.

The Frontier Index is the latest northern export to put their spin on country and send it back down south, and they do a damn fine job of it, for the most part. On songs like "San Antone", they show their south-of-the-border sympathies, churning out riffs that brim with alt-country sass and shuffle, combining well-strummed, low-key acoustic guitars with appealing banjo action. Oh, and never fear: "San Antone"'s lyrical content doesn't throw any curve balls, either: "Red skies in the morning / with an empty bottle stare / memories, they keep me up all night... So take me down my little friend / your heart is aching / don't pretend that nothing matters, all is right." The song strikes a pleasing balance between bitter resignation and weary resolve, and benefits from The Index's wise decision to play it straight. There's nothing even remotely novel about the band's most country-flavored tunes, but the shock of the new is not what they're gunning for; they're making respectful, deeply felt songs that refuse to bow to the lowest common denominator that has defined Nashville-style country music for the last two decades. As for that quintessential country subject, heartache, The Frontier Index prove that they're up to the task. On "My Secret", vocalist Corey Hernden sings, "I did the best I could not to love you / I did the best I could not to care / it feels so wrong / now that you're gone." Similarly, in "On and On", he sings, "You wore out an old welcome / like a lonely memory floating on the breeze."

Unfortunately, TFI don't always stick to their strengths. On "Feel The Sun" and "Someday", the guitars slough off their country skins and kick into full-on rock mode, more Ryan Adams than Whiskeytown. Remember when Wilco announced their decade-plus flirtation with the subject of their own mass appeal and alienation? The way that "Misunderstood" declared that they weren't that AM band anymore, but that they weren't quite sure who they were? Some of The Frontier Index's music has that same sense -- that air of a band struggling to find its true identity. To rock or not to rock? is the fundamental question facing The Frontier Index, and in a sense, it's a struggle for the band's soul; their country-tinged tunes are more affecting, more heartfelt and more artful, but their rock-style tunes are probably more commercially viable and polished.

The Frontier Index is one of many bands torn between potential commercial appeal and sticking to what they do best. Ideally, as their music matures, they'll find that they're as capable of soulfulness in their harder-rocking moments as they are in their twangier moods. If that's indeed the case, perhaps their artistry will create its own version of success.

Splendid Magazine Sept 8th 2005




Frontier Index

(Rainbow Quartz)

US release date: 6 September/05

UK release date: Avail. as import

by David Marchese

It's just about impossible for artists to escape their influences. That task is even more difficult when we're talking about rock and roll. Play country rock and you might as well call it a day. In fact, I propose that most of today's alt-country bands should be forced to include their primary influence in their band name. For example, those indebted to Neil Young could go with something like The Younglings, or perhaps the Pittsburgh Neilers. If you worship at Gram Parsons' feet, take the name the Gram Crackers and cut me a check later. At least that kind of advance warning would spare us from having to hear another tired album.

The real magic happens when influence is used as a jet pack rather than a straightjacket. Doing so is no easy feat, but with their self-titled debut, Frontier Index prove that country rock need not continue ploughing the same fields; there are alternatives and the same choices need not be made over and over again.

The album doesn't give us any sounds we haven't heard before, but by putting those sounds in a fresh context they're given a new vigour. The band's mix of influences, from '80s college rock to Hank Williams weepers, come together to place country rock in a new light. The result is a kind of fever-dream country music.

The standard tools are used as before -- twangy guitars, lonesome harmonies, simple rhythms -- but by refracting the music through the lens of post-punk guitar textures, the clichés avoid the sense of inevitability that afflicts too many other bands. "San Antone", the album's fourth track, is a perfect example of Frontier Index's ability to make new things out of old parts, as a song that begins as a generic "gotta get back there" lament is gradually transformed by wah-wah guitars and organ stabs into a whirling dust storm. It is followed by "My Secret", perhaps the most traditional song on the album, and demonstrates that Frontier Index took the time to learn the foundation of their music before building upon it.

The sense of familiar dislocation that the album engenders, the feeling that we've been here before but never under quite the same conditions, is something that sneaks up on you as the album progresses. It's not until the second half of the album, particularly on the back-to-back punch of "Live For You" and "Silver Suns", that the feat the band is pulling off really hits you. At around the 3:00 mark of the latter song, when a Morricone-on-Quaaludes stomp turns into a Cure-esque echo fest and then finally reveals itself as a glittering evocation of a starry night, it becomes abundantly clear that the band has pulled off the trick of making an album with a down-home heart and a far-out head.

As befitting a first album as this is, there are kinks that need working out. At times the lyrics have something of a textbook country feel, but the familiarity is comfortable and heartfelt. It's just that the band (Corey Hernden and John Hunter on vocals and guitar, Mick Jackson on vocals and drums, and Matt Francis on bass and guitar) is so strong musically that I'd like to see them challenge themselves to come up with words that match the inventive splendour of their music.

By demonstrating their willingness to expand upon as well as respect the boundaries of country music, Frontier Index have positioned themselves along with folks like the Silver Jews (who wrote the song from which the band takes its name) and Will Oldham as musicians intent on scrubbing off the stink of formaldehyde that pervades so much alt-country. Frontier Index has made a lovely creative album and for that reason alone I'm eager to follow whatever trail this strong young band blazes.

— 7 September 2005

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