London-based quartet Frayed have not been around for long, forming only in 2017.
Despite the short time together, the band have already played numerous headline gigs in venues all across London, including a couple of intimate shows in gardens. They also self-released their own debut single ‘Slurred’ back in the summer to a warm, well-received response which has only driven them to do more.
‘Counterfeit Guarantees’ summarises everything Frayed have achieved so far and puts it all in one for you to enjoy.
The tone behind it is an impassioned one that demands change for the injustice many people face nowadays. It is almost pleading in some places as lead singer Luke Eatherton pours his all into his vocals, channelling the frustration he feels towards these situations. The gritty lyrics he has composed represent the vulnerability in some of the cases that he would like to change for the better.
It is as if he is reaching out personally to those struggling and offering his hand of support through Frayed’s music.
The EP is very much characterised by raw vocals that emanate passion through every word sang underpinned by the gritty guitars and punchy bass riffs. It is mature and sounds suited for a more established band such as Shame, showcasing the talent Frayed possess.
Its influences specifically come from Parquet Courts, Shame, The Strokes and The Orielles. Eatherton explains they were all artists he discovered at the time the EP was coming together who completely changed the way he (and the band) look at and play music. You can hear this change when comparing the first release of ‘Slurred’ to the EP version – the sound is crispier in comparison, exposing these influences and how they have changed Frayed’s sound.
Here Eatherton breaks down the EP song by song, explaining the thought process and meaning behind the lyrics for each track:
“This is kind of a ‘wallowing’ song where I list things I dislike about myself and just moan in a self-deprecating way.”
Favourite lyric:“my words are shit and I feel controlled”
Hands of Greed
“This one is about how people will get money and power and treat the proletariat and those with less power poorly and as though they are less than them.”
Favourite lyric: “you disregard their rights so they you can gain”
“This is about roadmen and modern culture which we cannot stand. It is just a song really filled with anger and disgust and just writing about personal experiences.”
Favourite lyric:“I look into your cold dead eyes and put my fears to the side”
“Long story short, this is about spending time with friends and just basically going on long dog walks. There is not a deeper meaning to this one.”
Favourite lyric:“I’m sick and tired of feeling uninspired”
“When I was on a trip, I was laughing at the less developed areas of London when I realised I was being a dick so I wrote about it and came up with this track. It is also about how people act as though they care about charity and adverts about them. Yet, in reality, they will cry and give sympathy but don’t do anything else about it to help.”
Favourite lyric:“through diamond-tinted glasses and privileged eyes”
Eatherton has also discussed his favourite aspects from the EP.
Outlining his favourite track as ‘Hands of Greed’, he explains this is due to it coming from a place of anger and sense of injustice which gives him a release when singing it. It’s a song he can use to let out frustration due to the anger behind the meaning of it.
It’s not just the nature of the lyrics that make it his favourite though – the musical side of it contributes to this as well. He describes it as being the most polished song featured on the EP with all the intertwining riffs and many effects used on the instruments combining to produce such an accomplished track.
Despite all this, his favourite lyric of the EP actually comes from ‘Counterfeit Guarantees’ – “through diamond-tinted glasses and privileged eyes” – the reason for this being the in-depth meaning behind it.
The idiom “looking through rose-tinted glasses” is seeing something in an optimistic light and ignoring the negative reality of it. “Diamond-tinted glasses” is just a play on this – Eatherton describes it as being what more privileged people look through when they look down on those less privileged than them. It is an interesting concept, and summarises the overall theme behind this body of music.
Frayed are ones you don’t want to let slip by. With huge plans set for 2019, the EP is only the start of what you’ll be hearing from them this year.
Listen to ‘Counterfeit Guarantees’ here