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Victoria, BC's Frog Eyes rose from the ashes of the little known band Blue Pine when singer/guitarist Carey Mercer and bassist Michael Rak set out to shake the scent of absinthe and clove and engage in something a bit more whiskey-soaked and volatile. What they came up with was more striking and intense than enyone could expect. Joined by Mercer's wife Melanie Campbell on drums and Spencer Krug (later of Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade) on keyboards, the group recorded The Bloody Hand and released it in 2002 on local Victoria/Vancouver label Global Symphonic. Krug moved to Montreal and was replaced by Grayson Walker on keyboards. The band caught the attention of U.S. label Animal World Recordings who co-released The Golden River in 2003. The album saw a tremendous amount of critical praise from the press while audiences started to fawn over the band's incredible live shows.

2004 proved to be a banner year for the band and its members. The Soft Abuse label released a collection of Mercer's older solo recordings under the Blackout Beach moniker in February. When Animal World went into hiatus, Absolutely Kosher picked up the baton. Mercer recorded a selection of songs from the first two albums as well as from the forthcoming third album on his own and released them under the Frog Eyes moniker as the limited edition album Ego Scriptor in March and whole band released the entropic classic The Folded Palm in October.

One tour later and Walker left the band. The remaining members collaborated with Dan Bejar of Destroyer for the Notorious Lightning and Other Works, an EP of reworked songs from Destroyer's Your Blues album, in 2005, touring together in the U.S. and Europe. In early 2006, Absolutely Kosher reissued the band's first two albums, both with extra tracks. 2006 also found Krug rejoining the band from afar (Montreal) in preparation for their next album slated for early 2007.