The Frank And Walters. Remember them? If so, you may remember that they were supported live by Suede and Radiohead and, as recently as a year ago, The Dum Dums, those bastions of pretty boys angst.
The Franks, as they are colloquially known, hail from Cork. They are songwriters Paul Linehan (vocals, bass, keyboards) and Ashley Keating (drums, percussion), with Paul’s brother Niall on guitar-strumming duties. With Glass, their fourth album, The Franks should be big stars. It is a pity that they aren’t, for they deserve to be.
For an example of why this is, check out track 1 on Glass, called Underground. Produced by PJ Harvey‘s old producer Flood (also noted for The Smashing Pumpkins‘ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness), this is an analogue stomp of a single that would easily launch a band into the top 20.
There is at it’s heart a pulsating good nature, a warm, friendly person who wants the listener to have a good time and to sing along. The rest of the album, produced by relative youngster Rob Kirwan (his second Franks album, following on from last year’s Beauty Becomes More Than Life) contains tracks that are not so immediately screaming “SINGLE” as Underground, but with each passing listen reveal just a little more greatness.
Isn’t It Time is rather pleasant and upbeat too, while 6 Becomes 9 ought to get tour crowds rocking. There are few dud tracks on this album, which is a state of affairs into which we’ve been spoiled by The Franks, with only I Will Be King outstaying it’s welcome.
If you do get to hear The Frank And Walters playing near you or if you buy Glass, you’re simply being offered some heartfelt music with inventive arrangements by three of the most genuine and warm guys in music. Give them a listen. You may even like them more than Suede.