From the beer soaked carpet of the Punters Club in Fitzroy to massive stages the world over, Frente have won hearts and taken no prisoners with singles such as ‘Ordinary Angels’, ‘Labour of Love’ and their acoustic take on New Order’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’.
While the world was celebrating all things grunge, Frente’s blend of alternative and folk pop set them apart to listeners the world over. The honesty of the performances and recordings, plus the thoughtful quirky riffs and structures of the songs drew logical comparisons of Simon’s guitar work to some of Jonny Marr’s work for the Smiths and Dave Gavurin for the Sundays. Vocally Angie’s presence was, at the time truly unique; an Australian female singer singing in her native accent, rather than adopting the American vernacular of the day.
If locally some corners picked holes in the videos for ‘Kelly Street’ and ‘Ordinary Angels’ for being a little too sweet, it seemed there was no such stigma for the band internationally. In the footsteps of seminal indie-pop bands such as The Triffids and The Go-Betweens, Frente left the country to find the recognition that had eluded them in their success in their hometown. They were invited to tour extensively with some of the biggest alternative artists of the day, including Everything But The Girl, Ween, The Beautiful South, Crowded House and Alanis Morissette.
In their absence, it seems that the respect and kudos have grown. As new generations discover them for the first time and their peers take another nostalgic listen to the songs that they fell in love, broke up, and started over with; Frente continue to mean something to many.