Frenzal Rhomb

Antiwar songs by Frenzal Rhomb
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Frenzal RhombFrenzal Rhomb is an Australian punk band that formed in 1991, based in the city of Sydney. The band's current lineup is Jason Whalley (vocals), Lindsay McDougall (guitar), Tom Crease (bass) and Gordy Foreman (drums). McDougall is also responsible for Rock Against Howard, a compilation by Australian musicians against John Howard's government.


After touring as the support act while American punk bands The Offspring, Bad Religion and Blink-182 were in Australia, the group released their first album, 1995's Coughing Up a Storm (although their first release had been 1994's Dick Sandwich EP). Retitled Once a Jolly Swagman Always a Jolly Swagman, the album was issued on America's Liberation Records label two years later. Fat Mike, owner of Fat Wreck Chords and member of NOFX, got his hands on a copy of this album when NOFX toured with Frenzal in 1996. Impressed with what he heard, he apparently asked Jay if he'd fancy to bet the fate of the band to a game of pool. A victory to Jay later, Fat Mike had signed the band to Fat Wreck and released the 4 Litres EP, and soon became one of the biggest independent Australian bands. With the release of their second album Not So Tough Now, they were the self proclaimed 'Punkest Band on Earth'. In September 1997, the band released the album Meet The Family, their first with new guitarist Lindsay McDougall after original guitarist Ben Costello left to become a full time animal rights activist. The album was the first Frenzal LP to be certified gold in Australia. Frenzal Rhomb were also the headliners for the Australian leg of the 1998 Vans Warped Tour (they were recruited for the American edition as well).

The LP A Man's Not A Camel was released in Australia in March 1999 and was supported by a nationwide tour. It remains Frenzal Rhombs' highest placing album to date, reaching 11 on the ARIA charts (it also spawned Frenzal's highest placing single, "You Are Not My Friend", which reached No. 48). Overseas gigs in the USA were dropped after singer Jason Whalley suffered a heart attack in late 1999 and Frenzal Rhomb spent the first few months of 2000 laying low. They returned with the album Shut Your Mouth in November 2000, originally released on Epic Records in Australia, an off-shoot of Sony. After poor sales and reviews and an awkward few months, Sony dropped the band in mid 2001 and they then signed with Epitaph Records in Australia.

Without warning in April 2002, Lex Feltham left Frenzal Rhomb. The band claimed many wild stories about why he left, but one of the most amusing was that he was fired after thinking that Frenzal Rhomb should incorporate synth and keyboard work. The last song he recorded with the band was a cover of Midnight Oil's "The Dead Heart" for a tribute album. Rumours of him being a DJ in Sydney have surfaced, yet nothing concrete.[citation needed] After holding auditions in Sydney, Tom Crease was announced as the new Frenzal Rhomb bass player.

In April 2003, the band released Sans Souci. The album was Frenzal's most critically successful to date (save for perhaps Coughing Up A Storm, or Not So Tough Now) and was hailed as a return to form.[citation needed] Fat Wreck Chords were planning to release a vinyl LP of the album (as they had done with the preceding two albums) but withdrew it at the last moment.

The boys caused a stir in the world of Australian commercial radio in July 2004 when they were threatened to be "buried" by commercial station 2Day FM, after an incident involving the band and 2Day FM presenter Jackie O at a Darwin all day concert. Jackie O was booked to have a minor role in the event but was nine hours late due to her supposedly being "sick", although this didn't explain reports of people witnessing her partying till the very early morning the night before. [citation needed] While she wanted to use some of Frenzal's set time to speak to the audience the band was less than enthusiastic about losing some of their time and played over top of her. Jackie O and her co-presenter, Kyle Sandilands called Jay while on air to demand an apology. The generally accepted conclusion to the vitriolic exchange was that Jay was articulate and lucid while Kyle and Jackie O were shrill and precious.[citation needed] The ABC programme Media Watch program covered the exchange and raised further issues about the conduct of the Kyle and Jackie O. Part of Jason's point was that the station has never played Frenzal Rhomb in the past, as they (and commercial radio in general) concentrate on artists from whom they can make fast, short-term profits (such as contestants of Popstars and Australian Idol).[citation needed]Jason Whalley and Lindsay McDougall also work on radio as Jay and the Doctor. Their biggest role is as Triple J's breakfast show hosts from 2005 onwards.

Jay and Lindsay also have a musical side project with Bow Campbell from Front End Loader, called the Self Righteous Brothers. Largely based on the outrageous American band, The Frogs, the Self Righteous Brothers are an essentially acoustic acts with very explicit lyrics covering the topics such as pregnant junkies and incest.

Frenzal Rhomb's most recent release was October 14th's Forever Malcolm Young which includes, for a limited time, a special edition DVD cover the bands touring exploits from 2002 up until 2005. It is titled Sucking All Over the World.


Jason Whalley (vocals)
Lindsay McDougall (guitar)
Tom Crease (bass)
Gordy Foreman (drums)

Lex Feltham (bass)
Ben Costello (guitar)
Bruce Braybrooke (drums)
Karl (drums)
Nat Nykyruj (drums)


Coughing up a Storm (1995)
Not So Tough Now (Jul 1996)
Once a Jolly Swagman Always a Jolly Swagman (title of US release of Coughing Up a Storm) (1997)
Meet the Family (Sep 1997)
A Man's Not a Camel (Mar 1999)
Shut Your Mouth (Nov 2000)
Sans Souci (Apr 2003)
For the Terms of Their Unnatural Lives (2004)
Forever Malcolm Young (2006)

EPs and singles
Dick Sandwich (1994)
Sorry about the Ruse (1994/Re-released in 1997)
4 Litres 7" (1995)
Parasite (1996)
Punch in the Face (1996)
Disappointment (1997)
There's Your Dad (1997)
Mr. Charisma (1997)
Mum Changed the Locks (1998)
Some of My Best Friends Are Racist (1998)
We're Going Out Tonight (1999)
You Are Not My Friend (1999)
Never Had So Much Fun (1999)
I Miss My Lung (1999)
War (2000)
Coming Home (2001)
Bucket Bong (2003)
Punisher (2003)
Looking Good (2004)

Short Music for Short People (1999)
Rock Against Howard (2004)

In 1994 the band entered the University of Sydney band competition where it placed second.
They are named after Whalley's pet rat, who in turn was named after a light refracting box called the Fresnel Rhomb.
Lindsay is often referred to in the press as the Shane Warne of punk rock.