Frankie Rose: The Next Generation

April 27, 2012 at 6:34 am | Posted in Gigs, Music, Neumo's, Seattle | 1 Comment
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Frankie Rose & Dive at Neumo’s, Seattle | 25 April 2012

Many of the reviews of Frankie Rose‘s second album Interstellar have  been about how it was a huge leap from her lo-fi roots. Previously when I saw Frankie Rose a few years ago at SXSW just prior to her releasing her debut album Frankie Rose and the Outs, she was mostly still feedback and distortion. Live she may still have been reveling in reverb, but on record she had already begun to shed a lot of her Shit Storm-Vivian Girls-Crystal Stilts past. On Interstellar she continues on that same trajectory, employing the services of dance producer Le Chev to push her even further into new realms. Interstellar is steeped in 80’s Cure records and current day Swedish pop which itself is heavily influenced by those same Cure records.

Wednesday night at Neumo’s Frankie appeared wearing a black puffy pirate shirt that could have been borrowed from one of Prince‘s  Purple Rain entourage. She brought with her a solid band who had no problem recreating the icy sounding pop from Interstellar and slightly transforming the songs from her first album into shimmering celestial bodies similar to their Interstellar brethren. She seemed much more at ease as the frontperson compared to when I saw her a few years ago, talking about inane things like the rain and threatening a Sister of Mercy cover between songs, but doing it in a very likeable way. She’s an expressive singer, you can tell that she believes in her songs and delivers them with an excitement and intensity that is engaging to watch. She had  a bunch of reverb on her vocals, but I don’t think it was there to hide anything, just to make her voice sound bigger which it did quite well. Her encore of Pair of Wings may have been my favorite song of the night. Songs like Know Me  and Had We Had It are the ones that grabbed my attention from listening to the record at home, but Pair of Wings which was written by her former Shit Storm band mate  Wu Li Leung, transcended  those 80’s Cure records and delved into Abba-esque stratospheres and left me with an entirely new perspective on her already stellar Interstellar.

stream: Frankie Rose – Pair of Wings (from Interstellar on Slumberland Records)

Dive who are fronted by Beach Fossils guitarist, Kurt Cobain doppleganger and oversized sweater wearing Cole Smith are on tour with Frankie Rose serving as designated openers. On record so far, Dive sound very similar to Beach Fossils, but live they veer more towards instrumental guitar jams that remind me a little of Mogwai. Smith sings, but it wasn’t the focus. Live, Dive are all about the guitars. The twin attack was good for a few songs, but it seemed like every song went for the same trick which after a few songs, wasn’t so much of surprise. They’ve got something good to build on and I’ve liked their  singles to date. It will be interesting to see if their album due in June on Captured Tracks can sustain the excitement generated from their initial singles.

Stream: Dive – Geist
(from upcoming 7-inch on Captured Tracks)

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  1. I didn’t realize that Frankie’s bassist was Kim Morrisson formerly of the Dutchess and the Duke until I read this interview with Frankie.
    She did introduce her as Kim and said she was from Seattle, but I didn’t put two and two together. Plus she was totally quiet except for her excellent backing harmonies, which was not the case if you remember her from the Dutchess and the Duke. Back then she was in your face punk rock bravado.


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