Warsaw’s Borderline Bob are a band who craft emotional and dramatic soundscapes and performances throughout this short but rather epic EP. Everything within Frontolimbic is as unique and expressive as the title implies.
Sunrise starts the journey off in an unexpectedly raw and gentle way. There’s anticipation in the sound, but a solo instrument and a deep leading voice fill out the ambiance with a thoughtful acoustic mood and some deeply poetic statements. Later on, the soundscape builds in a heavy way, bringing in unusual layers of retro distortion among this piano-led aura – never increasing the pace but increasing the tension and drama by means of creative exploration within the walls of the song.
The lyrics are kept to a minimum, the music drives the experience for the most part, underlining a band with creative skills in composition and artistry in general. As things progress, the energy reaches an immense peak, creating this dark and haunting, musically impressive, all-encompassing wall of audio around you. At close to six minutes long, this track alone is one that’s easily worth two or three listens in a row, just to witness the unfolding journey and all of its ups and downs to the fullest extent possible.
Mr. Invisible changes the feel from the offset, there’s a familiarity to the sound – this soft-rock melody and the meeting between the guitars, the piano and the drums, creates something immediately captivating and quite addictive in nature. The leading vocals sound superb, gritty but smoothly integrated, genuine and perfectly suited to deliver the underlying sentiments of the song. The lyrics are intriguing at every step, notably personal but certain lines reach out and connect in a widely accessible way.
There’s something quite nostalgic about Mr. Invisible, it’s a brand new concept and melody, for sure, and the band bring together an unexpected collection of instruments that makes for something surprisingly organic, but the direction of the completed piece has the feel of a release that would have made waves back in the nineties. It’s something like Three Doors Down meets John Butler Trio, with a few extra dashes of intensity. A definite personal highlight and a fantastic song in general.
Mazed (+Diffraction), a seven minute-plus piece of music and writing, brings the project to a close by means of an entirely new journey through thought and expression. The song begins with everything from before, but freshly arranged. The band’s leading vocalist has a reliable, comforting sound by this point, and as the riffs and the ideas and the key change emerge one by one, the song paints a unique picture before you – holding tight to your attention and never getting complacent with one single way of doing things.
The song veers off in multiple directions throughout, the intensity rises and falls, as does the pace, and things move from the utterly minimal and simplistic to the heavy and fully loaded with little to no warning, but it works. The whole thing is fascinatingly refreshing in its set-up. The latter half sees this rather blissful ambiance overtake the intensity, letting your mind wander and ponder all that was presented.
Borderline Bob write and compose songs that are completely free from the confines of genre or industry expectations. At the same time, they offer skillful musicianship and passionate performances, not to mention more than a few beautifully expressive ideas. At just three tracks long, this project feels like something much bigger. Well worth exploring for fans of alternative rock or complex, considerate songwriting.