They’re Frank…And Walter.

May 30, 2012 at 7:32 am (Uncategorized)

I still remember where I was the first time I heard a Frank & Walters song.  It was 1996 and I was working the register at Euclid Records.  We’d just gotten in a 3-song promo disc from Setanta Records and that was a cause for a bit of excitement, even if I didn’t recognize the oddly-named group.  Setanta was hip and cool and terribly British–which enhanced the coolness of their releases.  I put the CD in and let it spin and the song “Colours” came blasting out and immediately I wanted to run up and down the Central West End, grabbing strangers and forcing them to listen to this wonderful song.

The full-length album–Grand Parade–became one of my all time favorites.  I took some flak for that, too.  There’s nothing subtle about the Franks.   Many times you can spot the hooks coming like a train in a tunnel, and there’s bombast and zero subtlety and damn near every song sounds as if it was lifted whole stock from a 1980’s John Hughes film.

Over the years since Grand Parade I tried to keep up with the Frank & Walters, but too often their music just didn’t hit the highs of that 1996 album.  By the turn of the century, I expected to not really hear from them again.

And so color me gobsmacked that there’s a new Frank & Walters album out, and color me double gobsmacked that the damn thing is wonderful.  The record is called Greenwich Mean Time and I am captivated by it.  I mean yeah…the songs are gooey and a bit saccharine and obvious and absolutely un-subtle, but so what?  There’s a place in the world for grandiose, treacly, teenage anthems, and thank heavens there’s a band like the Frank & Walters to be wide-eyed believers even still at playing them.  I mean to say, if your gift from the music gods is writing songs that sound like 1985 Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy should be dancing madly to them, that’s something worth celebrating, right?

I’m not saying I want every band to do this, but I’m so happy that there’s at least one band who does, and does it this well.

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