By T.J. Dempsey | Music Editor Published: 06/18/2013 8:00 am EST
If I may allow the film buff in me to infringe upon the music lover’s territory for a moment: you really need to see A Town Called Panic. Said recommendation comes as a testament both to the film’s genuine quality and as tip-off as to just how have-to-see-it-for-yourself loony a toon we’re talking about (seriously, Bugs and co. haven’t been this animated in years). It’s a quick little feature, a light and frothy 75 minutes of wall-to-wall stop-motion madness, purposefully loaded with the kind of madcap energy that inform all the best childhood playtime imaginings. Even from an adult perspective, there’s a wealth of wonders to behold, from the deceptively nuanced animation to a classically endearing sense of humor throughout, and even one of the more down-to-earth and relatable romantic subplots in recent cinematic history (between two talking horses, naturally).
And at the end of it all, you have “Surfin’ Frog,” an exuberant pop anthem that blends the collective strength of an arena performance with the intimate eccentricities of the movie in question. Performed by the French band Dionysos (not to be confused with Dionysus, the Swiss/German metal group), “Surfin’ Frog” is the perfect final word with which to send viewers out of A Town Called Panic.
Lyrically, it’s every bit as absurd and comically relentless. The single eponymous stanza is hammered upon over and over again, reflecting the kinetic unfolding of events that comprise the film’s plot (up to and including the song’s equally ridiculous rapped-over bridge). Likewise, the infectiousness of the singalong choir and dynamic strings evoke a young, hyperactive sibling to Arcade Fire; Dionysos’ flair for the eclectic is essential to the overall experience.
This all culminates into a track that makes one feel just as frantic yet care free as any of A Town Called Panic’s characters. An unassailable slice of feel-good pop, “Surfin’ Frog” is the kind of track one delights in having entrenched in their mind for days on end.
Thomas Dempsey hails from Greenville County, South Carolina, where he has made a name for himself assembling and delivering sandwiches. A graduate of Presbyterian College with a duel major in Creative Writing and History and a minor in film, he’s achieved the technical status of professional writer by contributing to Examiner.com as a DVD critic. An aficionado of all media, Thomas harbors a particular affinity for visual storytelling and music.