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Review: 'Black, Frank'

-  Label: 'Demon Records'
-  Genre: 'Nineties' -  Release Date: '19.2.21.'-  Catalogue No: 'DEMREC850'

Our Rating:
Oddballs is the third solo album in Demon records Frank Black re-issue campaign. It was put out 1997, it's a collection of B-sides and bonus tracks, or tracks for compilations, recorded between 1994-97 this is pressed on some very nice 140 gram silver vinyl, this features production help from Jon Tiven, Eric Drew Feldman, Frank Black and Nick Vincent.

The A-side of Oddballs opens with Pray A Little Faster that is a nicely odd look at how and why you pray and why your being encouraged to Pray A Little Faster as the guitars swarm around the room the drums force you onto your knees ready for musical supplication if nothing else.

Oddball is a bit of a groaner as Frank deadpans the lyrics of this wonderfully tossed away sounding song as the yelps and cries go over the solid garage rock with lots of squiggly bits as he craves solitude and noise while trying to be a super louche Stones.

Village Of The Sun is almost spoken word/ shouted vocals over a good clattering indie garage grunge backing, the more deadpan the vocals sound the better it works as Frank rages against the powers that be as the organ finally comes through.

Baby That's Art is the sort of boho comment made to justify all sorts of rubbish, but of course if you can get away with it, then that really is Art and is something Frank always succeeds at, as this is a brilliantly arty piece of song writing.

The End Of The World splits between being a frantic hardcore punk song and some slacker grunge laid back song almost like UK Subs crossed with Sebadoah even if Frank claims it's Bowiesque.

Can I Get A Witness is of course begging and pleading almost country rock with what sounds almost like Pedal steel in places and far more breathy vocals than you'd expect, for me one of the stand out tunes, it's almost like a lost Green On Red anthem.

Announcement is a word from Black Francis that urban blight is not the problem, as they explore the glories of garage rock with almost crooned vocals and clattering drums that breaks down and builds up like many a grungy classic.

The B-side opens with Hate Me which is of course a challenge to anyone who didn't like The Pixies or how the Pixies broke up, as Frank gives us many reasons to Hate Him a frantic tune that's a bit Electric Eels intense.

Remake Remodel has been totally Remade and Remodeled from the Roxy Music classic into this grunge garage pop song with all sorts of Guitar mangling on what sounds like it might have been recorded in one or two takes almost jammed in the studio.

Everybody Got The Beat oh yes they did and they had to dance like maniacs having received the beat, this is unrelenting and quite joyously nasty piece of punky power pop.

Jumping Beans could be a song about a normal childhood obsession with Jumping Beans that many of us owned in the 70's, or it could be about taking the sort of beans that get you jumping and hopping like mad with life in an amphetamine blur that this song sounds like.

Just A Little feels like a Joe Meek produced pop single and it's a very cool cover of the Beau Brummel's classic played surprisingly straight.

You Never Heard About Me sounds like The Pixies at a slow almost sludge rock pace as Frank claims we've never heard of him, as if that welter of guitars wouldn't make us demand to know who this track was by.

Oddballs concludes with Man Of Steel that pretty much sounds like it wants to soundtrack an abstract western with some cool slide playing and yearning in the vocals as we find out just what kind of Man Of Steel he really is as the song builds to the albums final climax as the soundtrack to The Guitar Fight At The Reverb Corall.

Find Out more at http://smarturl.it/FrankBlackOddballs https://www.facebook.com/msrblackfrancis

  author: simonovitch

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