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Promo – Frontier Ruckus Homepage Agent: Michael Schuh

Welcome to Frontier Ruckus, Europe. The band has toured the continent three times, but for all intents and purposes this is likely your first introduction. As they are poised to release their third full-length record, Eternity of Dimming—a 20-song double-album, roughly an hour-and-a-half in duration and over 5,500 words in lyrical length—this is a helluva time to enter their world. Welcome to the expansive language of songwriter Matthew Milia. Welcome to a raw and unharnessed musicality. Welcome to the snowy television sets and plastic teenage trophies of suburban Detroit.

This album is the embodiment of real things, real objects—a realness full of sad gladness and expiration dates. There is banjo on this record because David Jones’ dad bought him that very banjo and lessons when he was 11. The trumpet you hear was dented by Zach Nichols’ friend’s saxophone in junior high band. The organ pulsing throughout was snatched by Matthew’s father from a church going out of business, as some churches go. It now imprints its weight into the living room carpeting where we once rug-burned and tickle-tortured with red faces. The thunderous nature of Ryan Etzcorn’s drumming was informed by the quick tunes on glimmering punk rock cassette tapes of adolescence. The main guitar used to write these songs came out of a weed deal in the 70s. The specificity is endless and heartbreaking, right?

Ignoring the cliched trappings of antiqued rural fetish that have come to make tired the re-popularized modern folk movement, Frontier Ruckus instead celebrates and insulates itself within a world that is obsessively suburban—within childhoods realistic and recent enough to remain vividly smoldering with intense memory. The result is a realism so specifically idiosyncratic that the listener may exceed the pure images offered and enter a realm of rich physicality, unchecked abundance of memory, and graphic personal mythology. This is the world of oversized 90s obsolescence, pinning down weighty 90s love and familial weirdness—elephantine copy machines in the home offices of affluent parents of grade-school friends in briefly affluent times, VHS cassettes sun-bleached and rotting on early bedroom shelves, tragic birthday parties, aggressive soccer coaches, grandmothers’ oxygen tanks and daytime-TV-time crosswords, porn stashes found behind Taco Bells. A catalogue so thorough in its literary scope of brutally tender pathos is quite rare in the current musical landscape, or nonexistent. But here one may find a catalogue as such—a candid opening-up of a bottomless domestic junk-drawer, without omission or censor.

Eternity of Dimming is not of the world that now contains paper-thin computers and full-length records clocking in at 25 minutes. It is rather its own clunky capsule of universality via outrageous particulars. This is pizza delivery and video rentals on a Friday night sleepover. This is an exploding two-liter of carbonated youth. These are the extinct auto parts of colliding age and maroon Chevy Cavaliers. This is sad gladness and an infinitude of stray comforts heavy with sorrow. This is the gorgeous and inevitable disintegration of all that we once knew ourselves by, blurring into the graininess of gradual dusk—the Eternity of Dimming.