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The Franklys – Are You Listening?

 

The Franklys – Are You Listening?

‘Are You Listening?’ is the debut album coming on June 23rd from all-female London four-piece The Franklys, being released on Halta Halta Records. It mixes rock’n’roll, surf, garage and a little bit of punk too, which makes for a very intriguing sound and with a whole summer of tour dates coming up, with venues in May, June, July and August already booked up for them, it seems like many people will be getting exposure to this unique combination very soon indeed. They have built a reputation for themselves as one of the most exciting bands on the London circuit and beyond, having embarked on tours across UK, Europe and America; including a recent support tour with Airbourne.

With five tracks on this debut album, we fire straight into action with Castaway, which is instantly catchy and full of infectious energy. I find the vocals from Jennifer Ahlkvist are slightly overpowered by the guitar, but it just about manages to get away with it. The chorus is riffy and catchy, bursting at the seams with punk energy as the vocals get shouted out with gusto and feel.

Next up is Weasel, which hits a different end of the scale with a slightly slower pace; but still manages to punch the listener’s eardrums with a grungy punk attitude. The riffs are again top notch, they really hum with acute energy – though I am still finding the guitar overpowering the vocals slightly, which is an awful shame, but makes me wonder if it was intentional with these first two tracks.

Puppet thunders in with a chunky bass part as the guitars harmonise with it intricately; working in unison to convey the beefy attitude encapsulated in this track. The vocals are more pronounced in this track, thankfully not being shadowed by the guitars; finally all instruments in co-operation with each other. Jennifer’s vocals are just sublime, taking on a character all of their own; whilst still channelling early Garbage-era Pink or Distillers vocalist Brody Dalle.

After the shouty energy of Puppet, we hit more mellow tones with Keeper, in which the vocals are again top notch; taking on a more unearthly slant in this track. There is less riffage going on this time, the instruments instead all complimenting one another to weave the framework for this powerful track. The guitars have a hint of distortion this time, but truly it works out for the best – adding to the otherworldly feel of this stunning song.

You Go I Leave slams into existence next with strong guitars and a walking beat, really slowing things down for this final track on the release. The vocals are strong again, threading beautifully with the guitar acting as support, and a distinctive riff is standing out throughout the track – this being the longest on the album at four minutes.

I have really enjoyed this debut release from The Franklys. It has the right mix of spunk, tenacity and sublime talent; all rolled into one perfect amalgamation. Although I was not a fan of the instrumentation overpowering the vocals in the first two tracks, it was thankfully sorted by Puppet and that is when the planets aligned. Top effort from The Franklys, you have done a great job – we are indeed listening to you, and what you will be able to offer us next.

Niki Flynn

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