There is an infamous and lasting saying, “I know it when I see it” from United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity, in the Jacobellis v. Ohio court case. In many ways shoegaze music is an “I know it when I hear it” genre. There’s a strange beauty in the way the music and vocals tend to blend and communicate with each other. Monday night’s Froth show at Gasa Gasa was a prime example of the latest incarnation of the genre. The term shoegaze was initially coined by a journalist reviewing a Moose live show in which he noted the band kept gazing at their shoes, while engaging their pedals. Many bands want to stray away from labels; Froth fully takes on the idea. Bassist Jeremy Katz basically said; what’s the use in fighting it, we may as well own it and see where it takes us.
Opening up the evening, with a quick and quirky set was Trance Farmers. The band was a bit disorganized, but when they finally got it together and the crowd started filling in, the band woke up and got things started. The psychedelic overtones of their set flowed well into Froths dreamy and noisy set.
Some bands, maybe on purpose, have names that could easily exemplify their genres. Shoegaze in particular has over the years etched out that idea. Ride, Slowdive, Loop, Astrobrite, Secret Shine, Swirvedriver, and Lush among others band name alones seem to paint a picture of sorts for the sound they put forth. Los Angles based Froth is another band to place in that category. Formed in 2012, Froth consists of JooJoo Ashworth (Guitar/Vocals), Jeremy Katz (Bass), Cameron Allen (Drums), and Nick Ventura (Guitar) have crafted a beautiful sound that is heavily influence by many of the bands in shoegaze’s initial movement.
With three albums to date, Froth’s latest Desert Daze Caravan tour chiefly focuses on this year’s Outside (Briefly). The album is spotless and even more amazing when played loud and live. Ashworth is a front man, who really doesn’t find reasons or a need to interact with a crowd, but this being their first time in New Orleans, said, “To be honest, I didn’t think anyone would show up.” And who could really blame him for the thought. With only a few presales, prospects would seem a bit bleak, but the room did fill up nicely and the audience was beyond happy to take the journey. The set clocked in around forty minutes. Just enough time to make the audience want more. The dangers of only having three albums is a shorter set, but Froth managed to weave a set together comparable to any well-seasoned gaze band. Additionally, they didn’t stoop to playing any covers as space filler. Granted, if they had, I’m sure they would have mixed perfectly into the set, as the sound and tone were perfectly balanced. You can see more pictures here.