Despite having its moments, the new album of garage rock from Frankie & The Heartstrings doesn’t quite deliver in full
s opening lines go, “You need a slap for everything you stand for” is quite the mission statement and it’s a fitting start for the third album from Sunderland’s Frankie & The Heartstring. The band are fiercely loyal to their hometown, and have recently been looking for a new home for their Pop Sex Ltd store after the local council kicked them out of their original home, and quite rightly enraged the band in the process.
A sense of anger is apparent throughout. The songs on Decency are frantic, riff heavy, harmony packed and over in the blink of an eye. If that sounds familiar then it should come as no surprise that Ross Millard has taken a break from his day job in The Futureheads to lend a hand on vocals and guitar. At times, such as on Think Yourself Lucky and Save It For Tonight you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to Millard’s other group.
When the songs are infused with both garage guitars and a sprinkling of brass, or synth, you find yourself forgetting these comparisons and listening to Decency with more welcoming ears. Money and Someday Anna allow their catchiness to disguise Francis’ cutting words, whereas Knife In My Back lays it all on the line as he sings “I’d rather have a knife in my back, than your hand in mine”.
Decency has its moments yet doesn’t fully convince and you’re left with the feeling that, despite the anger, Frankie & The Heartstrings still haven’t quite found a sound that is authentically theirs.
Verdict: Garage rock, Sunderland style