Having tried her hand(s), with a modicum of success, as well as lavish critical acclaim and a loyal fan base in each instance, one time drummer Frankie Rose has decided it's time to up sticks and move out front, where the view is clearer and the authority can be hers to command. Having been in three de rigueur bands already (Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts) Frankie has taken up the guitar, created a new five piece outfit, Frankie Rose & The Outs, let her songwriting skills blossom and delivered a belter of a debut album.
The tracks on Frankie's eponymous album are all short blasts of perfectly crafted power pop of the highest order. Not only that it is almost unique among contemporary releases in that it is not too heavily front loaded, gains momentum throughout and is a joy right up until the closing bars.
If you were of the opinion that it would be ill conceived for a band, let alone an American girl band, to try and even get close to emulating the wondrous Jesus & Mary Chain then you may want to reconsider after hearing the album out. On 'Girlfriend Island' and then again, without even trying to conceal its origins, on the closer 'Save Me', Frankie and her troupe superbly mix together just the right amount of percussive subtlety, heavenly vocals and fuzzy guitar to produce a near flawless reinterpretation of 'Just Like Honey'.
The joy doesn't end there, on 'Must Be Nice', but especially 'Don't Tread' you get all the Garage band gusto you could ask for. The rumbling and potent bass line, 60's girl group harmonies in the shadows, plus lots of vintage guitar all conjuring up recollections of The Cramps doing Garbageman. Prior to that Arthur Baker's 'You Can Make Me Feel Bad' gets a reworking with strung out feedback and a dirty guitar backdrop to accompany the angelic vocal treatments.
To start the album Frankie goes for subtlety rather than immediacy. The Coctuea/Cruise opener, 'Hollow Life', is all organs and ethereal vocals with a tambourine and sleigh bell backdrop. The new single 'Candy' then kicks in to showcase the bands more regular style of throwback guitar riffs, layered and harmonised vocals set to a slice of piquant pop. The arrangements are snappy and tight and there is no over indulgence, and certainly no filler.
Little Brown Haired Girl follows on in the same vain as Candy and has a similar sound to that created by Rose Elinor Dougall on her debut album, 'Without Why'. 'Lullabye For Roads And Miles' sees the band return to a Robin Guthrie influence. They very effectively pull together a wave of sound to make the piece flow as a whole, rather than the amalgamation of the individual parts. 'Memo' is similarly effective but with a slightly more potent performance, whilst 'That's What People Told Me' could easily have been lifted from the original Nuggets psychedelic collection.
The first full album from Frankie Rose & The Outs comes in just shy of 30 minutes and not one of them is a waste. The album is as vibrant a debut as you are likely to hear this year. The spirit of the band is perfectly captured in the deliberately nostalgic production and helps to ensure that not only can each song stand alone on its own merit but that when heard collectively the experience is heightened still further than the sum of the album's individual parts.
Stick it on and play it load, it'll be one of the quickest 30 minutes of your life.