Album Review: The Franklys – “Are You Listening?”
Listening to this debut album from Anglo-Swedish four-piece The Franklys, the initial thought that strikes you is that if they’d put this album out in 2003 when groups like The Hives and The Von Bondies were enjoying their brief flirtations with the charts then they might just have had a hit on their hands. As it is, we’re in 2017 now, but hey, not everyone’s blessed with perfect timing.
Anyway, these girls are specialise in tightwire garage rock and it has to be said there’s plenty of promise here on the fast-paced likes of Castaway and Too Tall. The only problem is that the mix is a bit off, which occasionally leads to the unwanted situation of frontwoman Jennifer’s vocals being drowned out by the piercing lead guitar lines, with songs like Puppet and Keeper definitely suffering a bit for it.
It’s an album that gets better as it goes on though, and the final three songs on here are also probably the best three, with the swirling rhythms and creeping paranoia of Imaginarium and the menacing Comedown leading into the album’s high point, the low-slung boogie of closing track Bad News, which is one you can definitely see working well in the live arena. A band that’s still finding its feet a bit then, but definitely one with promise.
Definitely an album worth persevering with as after a slightly awkward side one, The Franklys pick up the pace on side two to show what they're capable of. They've still got a few kinks in the sound to iron out but that's okay, this is a debut album after all. If they can make the necessary fixes on their second effort, this lot could definitely be on to something here.