Indie nearly-weres return, proving they haven't used up their potential quite yet...
Perseverance might be helpful but, as it’s frequently brought on by failure, most people probably wish they’d never discovered it. The Frank And Walters are undoubtedly among them. Because ten years, four albums, and a dictionary definition of ‘forgotten’ later, they should barely be able to raise enough cash for a beer, let alone another stab at success.
Yet somehow they keep going. Naturally the years have brought changes, and these consist primarily of retreating to anonymous New York and expanding beyond guitar pop into downbeat electronica. On some ill-judged filler, such things are partly signs of increasing panic, but the same approach also makes the analogue and understated ‘Ancestors’ and ‘Isn’t It Time’ mope like New Order at their most downbeat and melancholic.
So, unsurprisingly, the atmosphere here is more embittered than a pub full of ageing losers. Fortunately, they haven’t deserted their past altogether. Instead, as the Pulp squelch of ‘Underground’ or the elegiac ‘New York’ prove, they’re still pushing the pop buttons, but now in a woozy style that’s not so much world-weary as dangling at the end of its tether.
A mix of persistence and a fatalistic last throw of the dice,
The Frank And Walters have used the darkening cloak of obscurity to stretch themselves just a little. It’s worth a 6/10