2016 has seen Daptone Records expanding on the classic soul sound for which the label is best known. In June, the label’s imprint, Wick Records, released the debut album from The Mystery Lights. In similar fashion to Daptone’s soul records, the self-titled record consisted of songs that recalled the fuzzy, psychedelic sound of mid-60s garage rock. On September 2nd, Daptone took another step outside the soul box with the release The Frightnrs’ excellent debut-full length, Nothing More to Say.
The Frightnrs’ music echoes the same era of Daptone’s other artists, but rather than pulling specifically from soul or garage rock the band has a vintage rocksteady sound. A shared love of rocksteady led Dan Klein and Chuck Patel to form The Frightnrs with Rich Terrana and Patel’s brother, Preet in 2010. Chuck Patel offered, “Rocksteady was the first style of Jamaican music that Dan and me fell in love with, and the idea of making a classic album for a classic label like Daptone was a dream come true.”
Formed in 2010 in Queens, NY, the band played in clubs around New York for years, honing their craft. The band eventually caught the attention of Victor Axelrod, and he produced their 2015 EP, Inna Lovers Quarrel (released on Mad Decent). It was through Axelrod that The Frightnrs and Daptone were able to come together, and with Axelrod at the helm on the production side of things, Nothing More to Say was born.
Unfortunately for the band, not long into the recording process of Nothing More To Say Dan Klein started experiencing health problems. Shortly thereafter the singer was diagnosed with ALS. Klein persevered, however, and finished the recording process. Sadly, he did not live to see the record’s release. Klein died in June 2016. Listening to him sing on Nothing More to Say it is hard to imagine that he was ill at all.