Frankie & The Heartstrings - Decency

by Paul Downey Rating:6 Release Date:2015-07-05

Straight out of Sunderland comes the third album from Frankie & The Heartstrings. The band, now in their sixth year, certainly aren't messing around, with a snappy album which recalls other North East favourites The Futureheads' brand of fast-paced garage rock.

Sadly, there is not much here to elevate them above the mediocre. With riffs a-plenty but little substance, something is just lacking. The album settles into a pattern very quickly of short and snappy rock songs that sound all very similiar.

The problem here is the lack of identity; it feels like we've heard all this before but done better. Opener proper 'Decency' is catchy, an irresistable riff mixing with a gritty sound. Unfortunately, from here there is little evolution to their sound.

The Futureheads comparison comes back into play on 'Berlin Calls', a decent stab at a catchy pop song. 'Money' is a definite low-point. It begins well with a funky little riff but a mid-song instrumental interlude lasts too long and you feel that FATH are fast running out of ideas.

'Hate Me Like You Used To' is an attempt a slowed-down, anthemic sound but it really lacks a memorable chorus. 'Not for Pleasure', however, is a highlight, with an irresistable rhythm. It feels like the band is finally finding its feet, but with only one track to go.

Despite a couple of false dawns, FATH never get the balance right to make a great garage rock record, but there is enough potential here to think that maybe they just might manage it sooner rather than later.

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