11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s hard to believe that this promising debut album from Frank(just Frank) was recorded in 2010 instead of 1983. The French/American duo Chris (a.k.a .“Anthem”) and Kirti (a.k.a. “KD”) even don the kind of post-punk Reagan-era haircuts that peppered Joy Division audience members and the casts of bygone John Hughes films. The Brutal Wave is a coldwave album built on the sharp angular tones of vintage synthesizers and pointed guitar jabs with chorus-drenched bass lines (think early Cure), icy drum machines and deadpan Smiths-era Morrissey inspired vocals that are so monotone, they make Interpol sound like Katrina and the Waves. “Beneath” opens with a near robotic approach to their craft before the more accessible “Mr. Itagaki” fuses early R.E.M.-sounding guitars with playful synth-pop coming together to contrast lyrics inspired by a university professor wrongly accused of racism by an African student. “Mr. Itagaki” also touches on World War II fascism vs. Western liberalism. Political tension is a recurring lyrical theme throughout, save for “Die in Bed,” a gossamer tune that darkly muses on good old-fashioned post-adolescent self-pity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s hard to believe that this promising debut album from Frank(just Frank) was recorded in 2010 instead of 1983. The French/American duo Chris (a.k.a .“Anthem”) and Kirti (a.k.a. “KD”) even don the kind of post-punk Reagan-era haircuts that peppered Joy Division audience members and the casts of bygone John Hughes films. The Brutal Wave is a coldwave album built on the sharp angular tones of vintage synthesizers and pointed guitar jabs with chorus-drenched bass lines (think early Cure), icy drum machines and deadpan Smiths-era Morrissey inspired vocals that are so monotone, they make Interpol sound like Katrina and the Waves. “Beneath” opens with a near robotic approach to their craft before the more accessible “Mr. Itagaki” fuses early R.E.M.-sounding guitars with playful synth-pop coming together to contrast lyrics inspired by a university professor wrongly accused of racism by an African student. “Mr. Itagaki” also touches on World War II fascism vs. Western liberalism. Political tension is a recurring lyrical theme throughout, save for “Die in Bed,” a gossamer tune that darkly muses on good old-fashioned post-adolescent self-pity.

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About Frank(just Frank)

Drawing from the chilly, nocturnal sound of 1980s post-punk and new wave acts (the Cure and New Order chief among them), the French duo Frank (Just Frank) developed out of the friendship between Chris (aka Anthem) and Kirti (aka KD). The two met when they were teenagers as students in a high school in London. Chris and Kirti bonded over their love of music, particularly death metal and post-punk. "I think the blending of these two currents led us to Frank (Just Frank)," Kirti stated in an interview with Fact Magazine. "Frank (Just Frank)…started with the intention of playing dreamy post-punk…with a ‘no compromise' approach borrowed from underground metal." The duo would go on to characterize their sound as "Brutal wave," in a nod to this uncompromising approach. Frank (Just Frank) began, ahem, making waves Stateside thanks to Glenn Maryanski (Blacklist, Chameleons Vox), who introduced the duo's tunes to his DJ set at a weekly party for New York's Wierd Records. The band was subsequently invited to play a couple shows in New York, which led Wierd founder Peter Schoolwerth to offer to release the band's debut album. That release, The Brutal Wave, came out on Wierd in early 2010. The band had a split 12" single (shared with the like-minded group Soviet Soviet) out on Mannequin Mailorder later that year. The duo took a break shortly after the single was released, as Chris moved back to the States and focused on his solo project, Anthem. ~ Margaret Reges

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