A strong similarity between "Athlete Cured" and Spinal Tap's "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" has been noted. In his autobiography The Big Midweek, bassist Steve Hanley confirms that the resemblance was not accidental, admitting that the group had been jamming the Spinal Tap song in soundchecks and Mark E. Smith had decided to make use of the results. Hanley also states that producer Simon Rogers had been so annoyed by the lift that he came close to walking off the project.
Smith originally intended to call the album Gene Crime Experience, until he realized that it spelled "GCE". The phrase does still feature on the back cover of the CD.
The Frenz Experiment was released on 29 February 1988. It reached number 19 in the UK album chart, making it The Fall's first Top 20 album. The group promoted the release with a live appearance in HMV's Oxford Street store in London. Typically, they opened their short set with "Cab It Up!", a new song which would appear on their following album, I Am Kurious Oranj.
Like the group's other albums with Beggars Banquet, Frenz has a different track listing across various formats : LP, CD and cassette. A number of tracks are credited exclusively to Mark E. Smith, but also incorporates two cover versions (or one, depending on the format): "Victoria", originally by The Kinks, and "There's a Ghost in My House", a somewhat forgotten northern soul track, first recorded by R. Dean Taylor in 1966. The Fall's version of "Victoria" was released as a single, making it to No. 35 in the British charts. The latter cover only appears on the CD version of the album, having been issued as a single in April 1987, reaching number 30. This was the group's highest singles chart position to date, and remains so.
The Frenz Experiment was generally well-received by music critics. Pitchfork, despite giving the album a positive rating, called the album "a bit of a mixed bag. On no other record than the weak 1994 effort Middle Class Revolt do they sound more like they're on autopilot."