With their mix of punk-edged rock and reggae/dub styles, it’s hard not to think of the Police when listening to this. Of course, it’s twenty years later, and the presentation is understandably different, with Franklin’s emo/hardcore/indie rock background noticeably bleeding through in the best way, but there’s that same feeling fresh air blowing in the door.
For the most part, the musical similarities diverge there, though. To say Franklin sounds like the Police would be rather silly, but they sure do remind me of them. Uptempo songs with tons of energy are alongside smoother, more relaxed rhythms, fused together with an intelligent, seamless mix of styles. The music definitely seems to flow naturally in this direction for them. Check out the dancehall rhythm on “Major Taylor,” mixed with post-hardcore guitars. Not all of it is so juxtaposed, they do favor one style or they other at times, but that seemed an obvious example. Altogether, this is a really great record. They are coming through the area soon, and I’m eagerly looking forward to catching them.
Tree Records, P.O. Box 578582, Chicago, IL 60657