Five years on from [B]'Teenager Of The Year'[/B] and Frank Black still hasn't matured....


5 / 10 Five years on from 'Teenager Of The Year' and Frank Black still hasn't matured. Sure, there are no songs about UFOs this time but Frank's lyrical concerns are still very much of the adolescent bent. 'I Want Rock & Roll' is self-explanatory, while 'I Love Your Brain' rides on a refrain of, "Ooh, I love your brain, I'm gonna say it again".

Appropriately, such faux-naive reflections are scattered over a soundtrack of dumb guitars and primal drumming. Recorded in ten days, on a two-track with no overdubs, 'Pistolero' is an old-skool garage-rock album: loud, lumbering, graceless, and intermittently great fun. 'Western Star' heaves and drones like prime Pixies, while on 'Billy Radcliffe' Frank barks like a noo-wave nihilist while the band go as taut and angular as the Patti Smith Group.

While the dirty wraith of The Stooges hangs over every roaring chord, there's nothing here that matches the ragged, trashy clamour of last month's reissued 'Metallic KO' live LP, a comparison which exposes the ultimate pointlessness of 'Pistolero'. Frank only really lets go on 'I Think I'm Starting To Lose It', but it degenerates into a snotty, sub-Ramones thrash. Again, it's a juvenile belief in strangled melodies and the 'charm' of the three-chord trick which, when stretched over 14 turbulent tracks, ultimately grates. Time to grow up, Frank.

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