11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s hard to believe that this promising debut album from Frank(just Frank) was recorded in 2010 instead of 1983. The French/American duo Chris (a.k.a .“Anthem”) and Kirti (a.k.a. “KD”) even don the kind of post-punk Reagan-era haircuts that peppered Joy Division audience members and the casts of bygone John Hughes films. The Brutal Wave is a coldwave album built on the sharp angular tones of vintage synthesizers and pointed guitar jabs with chorus-drenched bass lines (think early Cure), icy drum machines and deadpan Smiths-era Morrissey inspired vocals that are so monotone, they make Interpol sound like Katrina and the Waves. “Beneath” opens with a near robotic approach to their craft before the more accessible “Mr. Itagaki” fuses early R.E.M.-sounding guitars with playful synth-pop coming together to contrast lyrics inspired by a university professor wrongly accused of racism by an African student. “Mr. Itagaki” also touches on World War II fascism vs. Western liberalism. Political tension is a recurring lyrical theme throughout, save for “Die in Bed,” a gossamer tune that darkly muses on good old-fashioned post-adolescent self-pity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s hard to believe that this promising debut album from Frank(just Frank) was recorded in 2010 instead of 1983. The French/American duo Chris (a.k.a .“Anthem”) and Kirti (a.k.a. “KD”) even don the kind of post-punk Reagan-era haircuts that peppered Joy Division audience members and the casts of bygone John Hughes films. The Brutal Wave is a coldwave album built on the sharp angular tones of vintage synthesizers and pointed guitar jabs with chorus-drenched bass lines (think early Cure), icy drum machines and deadpan Smiths-era Morrissey inspired vocals that are so monotone, they make Interpol sound like Katrina and the Waves. “Beneath” opens with a near robotic approach to their craft before the more accessible “Mr. Itagaki” fuses early R.E.M.-sounding guitars with playful synth-pop coming together to contrast lyrics inspired by a university professor wrongly accused of racism by an African student. “Mr. Itagaki” also touches on World War II fascism vs. Western liberalism. Political tension is a recurring lyrical theme throughout, save for “Die in Bed,” a gossamer tune that darkly muses on good old-fashioned post-adolescent self-pity.

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