FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS: ZAM (PLUS ALBUM PREMIERE!)
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FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS
Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ output has run from ‘60s garage- and psych-inspired material to fuzzed-out music with a punky edge—stuff that bears a strong resemblance to contemporary L.A. garage-punk zeitgeist bands like Oh Sees (reviewed here) and Wand (reviewed here). But ZAM is a dramatic—though natural—evolution. From the first epic moments of “Dracula Drug,” there’s an intense and revelatory focus on texture, sound collage and subtle instrumentation until an explosion of riffs, feedback, thumping drums, phasers, crisp vocals, solos and even horn. It sounds like it might be all over the place, but it’s actually carefully orchestrated and mixed. On this sonic manifesto, FATWF flirt with prog and experimental music, but use these concepts more for inspiration rather than strict instruction, resulting in high-energy headbangers with white-hot guitars and ferocious drums. (These songs thump hard as hell.) Agile but complex riffs and rising tempos make songs like “Work” and “Realization” extra sweet, while “Cobwebs” starts as a mellower track—by the band’s standards—dipping in and out of more expansive melodies. “Purple Velvet” seems to take inspiration from 60s guitar pop, while longer songs like the title track or “Underneath You”—which disintegrates into ambient noise by its finish—further demonstrate the band’s facility for the experimental, jammy, and expansive. But they’ve still got a finely honed ability to sense when switch into overdrive—or when to stomp on the fuzz pedal.