Phoenix and Air are how we’ve come to expect a French band to sound: sexy, stylish and a little bit cheeky. Young French act Frank (Just Frank) — from Nice, by way of London and New Jersey — have delved into goth and other 80’s nostalgia to carve a much darker, colder path for themselves.
The influences are many and readily apparent: The Cure, Japan, early Ministry, Peter Murphy, Johnny Marr, Joy Division, Depeche Mode. Throughout their debut, The Brutal Wave, they combine these elements into a melancholy and mechanically precise whole that sounds like an unknown treasure uncovered in a stack of dusty old LPs.
Of course the flip side of that coin is that Frank (Just Frank) could be written off as too derivative. But with lyrics in both French and English and a harder edge than most new wave revivalists, they achieve their own sense of distinction.
Hear for yourself on the pulsating “Mr. Itagaki”:
Plus, they’re a real band with real instruments — not just a guy with a laptop. Not bad…