Frenzal Rhomb

Frenzal Rhomb
Frenzal Rhomb
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1993–2006, 2008-present
Labels Epitaph Records (2004-present)
Epic Records (2000-2001)
Shagpile (1995-2000)
Fat Wreck Chords (1995-2003, 2011-present)
Shock Records (1995-present)
How Much Did I Fucking Pay For This Records (1993-present)
Associated acts Self Righteous Brothers, Mindsnare, Nancy Vandal
Jason Whalley
Lindsay McDougall
Tom Crease
Gordy Forman
Past members
Lex Feltham
Ben Costello
Bruce Braybrooke
Karl Perske
Nat Nykyruj

Frenzal Rhomb are an Australian punk rock band, formed in Sydney in 1993. The band have courted controversy for various reasons, ranging from cover art, song titles and content, behavior on-and off-stage, and their association with causes such as veganism and radical politics. Their name is a reference to a band member's pet rat, which was named after the prism-like device invented by the 19th Century French Engineer Augustin-Jean Fresnel, known as a "Fresnel Rhomb".



Frenzal Rhomb's current lineup is Jason Whalley (vocals), Lindsay McDougall (guitar) (who replaced original guitarist Ben Costello in 1996), Tom Crease (bass) (who replaced original bass player Lex Feltham in 2002) and Gordon "Gordy" Forman (drums).

The band's first release was the EP 'Dick Sandwich', released in 1994. After touring as the support act while American punk rock bands Bad Religion, The Offspring and Blink-182 were in Australia, the group released their first album, 1995's Coughing Up a Storm. 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, signed the band to his label Fat Wreck Chords and released the 4 Litres EP in the USA. The band released their second LP Not So Tough Now in 1996, and their third LP, Meet The Family in September 1997. This was the first LP 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 and they were recruited for the American edition also (some copies of 'Meet The Family' contained a bonus disc 'Mongrel', that was recorded live on this US leg).

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 lying 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.[citation needed]

Lex Feltham left Frenzal Rhomb without warning in April 2002. The band claimed many stories about why he left, including one 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. After holding auditions in Sydney, Tom Crease was announced as the new Frenzal Rhomb bass player. In April 2003, the band released Sans Souci. Guitarist Lindsay McDougall was responsible for Rock Against Howard, a compilation by Australian musicians against John Howard's government, which was released during 2004 before the federal election in Australia later that year.

Banned from Triple J

Prior to their employment at the station, their music was banned for a time by Triple J after Frenzal Rhomb criticised the station on air for playing the "same 40 songs".[1]

Jackie O controversy

In July 2004, 2Day FM presenter Jackie O was to MC at the Bass in the Grass festival in Darwin.[2] Jackie allegedly arrived late, causing the band to cut their setlist short by several songs, and then attempted to speak with the audience. In protest, McDougall began playing AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' over her voice and Whalley later accused her and other music industry personalities of pushing original Australian bands aside to make way for more short-term marketable acts such as the winning and losing Australian Idol and Popstars contestants.

Jackie O and her co-presenter, Kyle Sandilands subsequently called Whalley on air. Whalley apologised for offending Jackie, but stood by his claims regarding the music industry. The conversation became heated as Sandilands told Whalley, "Your songs being played on this network or the Triple M's just not going to happen now"; to which Whalley argued that Frenzal Rhomb were almost never played on Austereo anyway. During the conversation, Sandilands told Whalley that he was bitter and sad; and that Frenzal Rhomb is not played on the network "because it's pretty much shit". Sandilands argued that Whalley should not "pick fights with people that are female in the Northern Territory," although Jackie O was born in Adelaide and lives in Sydney. Sandilands asserted that if he himself were present, "it would have been on for young and old". Whalley argued that gender was irrelevant to the issue, and in response to Sandilands' threat of violence asked Jackie if she was aware that her security guard had threatened a band technician with violence. Sandilands said he endorsed the threat of violence. Sandilands seemed confused and disoriented during the exchange, arguing to Whalley that he has to "get over it" when Whalley recommended that radio DJs should promote original Australian music. In reply, Sandilands insinuated that Frenzal Rhomb, and bands in general, suffer from a lack of support because they are not "putting [their] stuff in front of the right people". Jackie remained inconsolably upset that she was unable to finish her announcement to the audience at the festival.

ABC Television's Media Watch covered the exchange and raised concerns about the conduct of Kyle and Jackie O. The conversation is currently available on Youtube[3] and for download.[4]


Jason Whalley and Lindsay McDougall worked on radio as Jay and the Doctor, and as Triple J breakfast show hosts from 2005 through 2007. Drummer Gordy Forman also plays in the legendary Melbourne hardcore band Mindsnare.

The band released Forever Malcolm Young in 2006 with a minor radio hit in the title track and some controversy[clarification needed] over the song "Johnny Ramone was in a Fucking Good Band, but He Was A Cunt". National touring followed, along with the announcement that Jay would be leaving both Frenzal and his job at Triple J to go on a world travel with his girlfriend. Some later copies of 'Forever Malcolm Young' contained a bonus DVD covering the band's tours from 2002 up until 2005. It is titled Sucking All Over the World.

During September 2008, new shows were announced for the following March with Jason Whalley returning from overseas[5] (billed as "The Boys are Back in Brown" tour) with more shows following in September and October 2009. [6]

Current Involvement and Smoko at the Pet Food Factory

In December 2010, they embarked on the No Sleep Til Festival which featured legendary punk and metal bands such as Megadeth, Descendents, NOFX, GWAR and Dropkick Murphy's. At each show they played a new song entitled "Bird Attack". On the last stop of tour, Brisbane, Jay and Tom joined Descendents on stage (with a plethora of other band members) to perform Everything Sux.

The band announced on their Twitter account that they would be recording their newest album in America with Bill Stevenson.

"Recording a new record in June with none other than Stevie-Bill Stevenson from some fuckin' band. Flights are booked. . .IT'S OFFICIAL."

On 5 July 2011 it was announced that the new album would be called Smoko At The Pet Food Factory and it was released on 19 August on Shock Records in Australia. Frenzal will be touring Australia with Teenage Bottlerocket in September in support of the album.[7]

Band members

Current members
  • Jason Whalley (1993–present) (lead vocals, guitar)
  • Lindsay McDougall (1996–present) (backing vocals, lead guitar)
  • Tom Crease (2002–present) (bass)
  • Gordy Forman (1998–present) (drums)
Former members
  • Lex Feltham (1993–2002) (bass)
  • Ben Costello (1993–1996) (guitar)
  • Bruce Braybrooke (1993) (drums)
  • Karl Perske (1993–1995) (drums)
  • Nat Nykyruj (1993–1998) (drums)




Year Title Peak chart position
ARIA Charts
1994 Dick Sandwich
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Independent
  • Format: CD
1995 Coughing up a Storm
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Belly of the Buddha Records
  • Format: CD
1996 Not So Tough Now
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Shagpile / Shock
  • Format: CD
1997 Once a Jolly Swagman Always a Jolly Swagman
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Liberation (USA release of Coughing Up a Storm)
  • Format: CD, LP
1997 Meet the Family
  • Sales: Gold (35,000+) [8]
  • Label: Shagpile / Shock
  • Format: CD (some copies are packaged with the live CD Mongrel)
1999 A Man's Not a Camel
  • Sales: Gold (60,000+ as of 2001)[9]
  • Label: Shagpile / Shock / Fat
  • Format: CD, LP
2000 Shut Your Mouth
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Epic/Sony (later Fat/Shock)
  • Format: CD, LP
2003 Sans Souci
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Fat/Shock
  • Format: CD (Some copies are packaged with a bonus DVD)
2004 For the Terms of Their Unnatural Lives
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: HMPIFPFT Records / Epitaph / Shock
  • Format: CD
2006 Forever Malcolm Young
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Epitaph/Shock
  • Format: CD (Some copies are packaged with a bonus DVD)
2011 Smoko at the Pet Food Factory
  • Sales: N/A
  • Label: Epitaph/Shock
  • Format: CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Singles & EP's

  • SAE Demo (4 track Cassette tape demo) (1993) (Cassette-only)
  • Sorry about the Ruse EP (1994) (CD / 7" only)
  • 4 Litres 7" (1995) (7" only)
  • Parasite (1996)
  • Punch in the Face (1996)
  • Disappointment (1997)
  • split with Greedy Guts 'Hard Gore Yellow Dick' (France release on Lollipop Records) (1997)
  • There's Your Dad (1997)
  • Mr. Charisma (1997)
  • Mum Changed the Locks (1998)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are Racist (1998)
  • Strife - title in Kanji (Japan release on Einstein Records) (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)
  • Nothing's Wrong (2001)
  • Coming Home (2001)
  • Bucket Bong (2003)
  • Ballchef (2003) (film clip only)
  • Punisher (2003)
  • Russell Crowe's Band (2003)
  • split with Fuzigish 'The Unwanted Traveller' (South Africa release on Revolution) (2003)
  • Looking Good (2004)
  • Forever Malcolm Young (2006) (film clip only)

All of the above singles were released as CD singles only, unless stated.



  1. ^
  2. ^ Media Watch - Kyle & Jackie O - revenge
  3. ^ Audio of interview
  4. ^ Audio of interview for download
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^>
  9. ^>

External links

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