by Lisa Kirchner

Packed tight with eerie, dark, and discordant rock-pop, Wetdog’s Frauhaus! has the same appeal as finding yourself alone at a seedy carnival after the sun has set.

The three-piece lady ensemble from the U.K. layers heavy bass, thick, syncopated percussion, and twisted surf guitar under singer Rivka Gillieron’s low register and Nico-esque wail. Bass and complex drums propel the straightforward rock ‘n’ roll incantation “Lower Leg,” and deconstructed organ and tonal choir singing are assembled loosely for “New Year.” These tracks and the 12 in between compose Wet Dog’s half hour of galvanized dissonance that alternately threatens and gently charms, demonstrated in the song “Fist Face,” with lyrics like, “Stroking your hair while I smother your face.” Frauhaus! might necessitate several listens to warm to, but the album possesses a spooky allure for those willing to see how it all plays out.

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