“Split Enz was at a stylistic crossroads when this was recorded, with one foot firmly planted in the defiant art rock of their idols and the other resting on the frontier of new wave. It’s not the smooth affair that subsequent albums (True Colours, Time and Tide) could boast of being” (ConnollyCo.com).
Even though this may be “often thought of as a transitional album, Frenzy shows the band in top form” (ConnollyCo.com). “A lot of the music here is catchy and intelligent, reflecting their influences (Genesis, Roxy Music) without sounding dated” (ConnollyCo.com).
“Produced in England on a diminished budget, the album showcases pure pop with a hungry edge” (Woodstra). “Stripped down of the earlier excesses, the album hints at the direction the band would take in the '80s while capturing a rare, rougher side to their music” (Woodstra).
“The ballads Stuff and Nonsense and Semi-Detached – find their songwriting craft at full power. Most of the material is written by brothers Neil and Tim Finn, yet keyboardist Eddie Rayner contributes a real sleeper in Marooned and bassist Nigel Griggs converts the Enz into Australia’s answer to XTC on Livin’ It Up” (ConnollyCo.com).
“I See Red, added after the initial pressing, became a moderate hit in Australia and New Zealand, allowing the band the financial freedom to follow up with the blockbuster True Colours in 1980” (Woodstra).
“‘I See Red’ has since become the album’s spokesman on various compilations, but the songs that follow it – Give It a Whirl, Master Plan, Betty – are more likely to please fans of the Enz’ poppier exploits. It’s all a little rough hewn when weighed against their better work (a charge many level at Squeeze’s pre-Argybargy output), but fans will take some of these songs to heart” (ConnollyCo.com).