FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS: BRAIN TELEPHONE

September 14th, 2017 | Album reviews

FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS
Brain Telephone
Permanent Records

One may wonder how many 60s psych-punk revivals there really needs to be in our lifetime, like the current one that has Los Angeles in a stranglehold for the fourth or fourteenth time. On one hand, it’s endearing to see a young band like Frankie and The Witch Fingers at their altar of worship of classic bands like 13th Floor Elevators and the Velvet Underground (influences that the band cites) with the un-jaded zeal that comes with a new discovery. But scenes begin to get stale when the bands not only begin to sound indistinguishable from each other, but when they’re actually more influenced by the later revival scenes that got stale for the same reason. The mark is so often missed, as the original flux of 60s bands were actually brimming with personality and influenced more by their own criminal records (where is the danger?), their favorite subversive literature (where are the poets?), and current earth-shaking events that they felt a brotherly empathy with. We know there is no shortage of current earth-shaking events–so where is the emotional transcendence in response? The good news is that Frankie and the Witch Fingers are so studied in their take on Back To The Grave comp rock that their new album Brain Telephone is a hell of a lot of fun. Is FUN the new F-word? Fuck it. Within the borders of these ten tracks of snotty, reverb-heavy, tremolo-soaked tantrums, Frankie and the gang have strategically bookended the album with their two strongest tunes–the album’s opening title track and the closer “Mother’s Mirror,” where they prove they have the most iconoclastic capability when they allow these songs to stretch out a bit. “Jamming” is a slippery slope when it comes to 60s inspired psych, but FATWF show that they understand taste and scope, employing flute and unorthodox production techniques that make these particular songs shine and add more retro-active depth to all the “Psychotic Reaction” rave-ups in between.

—Gabriel Hart

FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS’ BRAIN TELEPHONE IS OUT FRI. SEPT. 15 ON PERMANENT RECORDS.