by Mike Breen
With its first three releases and about a decade worth of
live shows across the region, The Frankl Project has honed a sound that
has earned notice for its crafty blend of Rock, Pop, Punk and Ska. But
the Cincinnati trio’s recent album, Standards, showcases the sound of a band finding its own unique voice and running with it.
While those aforementioned influences are still evident,
the group skillfully and more subtly integrates them into something they
can completely call its own. What hasn’t changed is that The Frankls
(drummer/singer Joseph Frankl, guitarist/singer Jacob Tippey and
bassist/singer Paul Schroder) still write excellent songs featuring
hooks a plenty and often anthem-ready, spine-tingling choruses. But the
variety of the album and the way the trio presents the songs is what
makes Standards so magnetic.
Unlike most Pop Rock bands (especially ones that have a
“Punk” element or pedigree), The Frankl Project doesn’t try to overload
its tracks with giant-sounding guitars that fill every nook and cranny,
opting instead to leave lots of space to create a distinctly airy aura.
Allowing the tracks to breathe and rise and fall without resorting to
predictable dynamics recalls the less-is-more approach that Indie Rock
stars Spoon do so well and makes Standards a gripping listening
experience. With that sonic elbowroom, the musicians’ intriguing
individual parts are more perceptible (Frankl, in particular, is an
incredibly musical drummer and his parts — like Tippey’s guitar work —
are often captivating) and add to The Frankls’ uniqueness. But the
stellar songwriting is still the primary focus.
The album kicks off with “Alive on the Road,” a swaying
rocker that soars on the three musicians’ airtight harmonies, while “My
Hands” has a rootsy sway that would make Jay Farrar nod along
approvingly. After a string of heart-swelling, evocative Pop songs, the
band throws in a few curves, like the jazzy but intense “Heart Shapes
& Hand Grenades,” the quirky but still resonant Indie Pop gem “Find
Your Way,” the ghostly, slow-burning “Chai Bones” and the album’s most
rocking track, “The Ottoman.”
If Weezer, Bad Veins, Ben Folds Five, Sunny Day Real
Estate and Band of Horses every decided to make an album together and
hired a producer with expert knowledge on how to utilize atmosphere as
another instrument (like Joe Henry, Brian Eno or Daniel Lanois), it
might sound like an unfocused patchwork of lazy, hazy Pop. But, if they
(and you) were lucky, it would sound more like The Frankl Project’s
impressively creative Standards.
Visit thefranklproject.com for more about Standards and The Frankl Project.
by The Frankl Project
by Mike Breen
Members of The Seedy Seeds get busy after band announces "break"
On June 4, one of the more beloved bands in Cincinnati (and, increasingly, the rest of the country), Indie Pop greats The Seedy Seeds, announced that they were going on "break" on their Facebook page. The post was worded to suggest this is an "indefinite hiatus" — the words "break up" were not used, but there's no sign of activity from the band on the horizon (fans are also leaving "R.I.P." messages on their Facebook page).In the "break" announcement that sounds like a "goodbye" one, the trio writes, "While we each have new projects to which we must now turn our energies, it's very hard to imagine how to live any moments from this point on as anything but Seedy Seeds."Some of those new projects have been making themselves known recently. Seed Margaret Darling has been performing her solo material regularly on the local club front and, yesterday, it was announced she has some touring in her immediate future. The band Distant Correspondent, described as Indie Dream Pop and featuring members located in different cities around the world, announced that Darling will be joining them on their upcoming fall tour. The supergroup made itself known to the public earlier this year and received a lot of press right off the bat. The band features David Obuchowski from Brooklyn's Goes Cube, the U.K.'s Emily Gray (from British Post Rock crew and John Peel faves Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia), multi-instrumentalist Michael Lengel on drums (whom Obuchowski met when he moved to Colorado) and Seattle bassist Tyler Wilcox, as well as fantastic Indie singer/songwriter Edith Frost (who is not touring with the band this fall). Here's what Obuchowski had to say about bringing Darling into the fold: Being in a band with members in different cities and even countries is pretty liberating. Sure, it's not always the easiest thing in the world from a practical standpoint. But the flip-side is that it affords us the opportunity work with musicians we love, even if they don't live close.With that in mind, we're thrilled to announce that we'll be bringing along Cincinnati-based solo artist, MARGARET DARLING as our featured vocalist for our upcoming record release tour. We're big fans of Margaret's solo work, and her work in the now-defunct Cincinnati indie-pop powerhouse THE SEEDY SEEDS. In fact, when it came time to put together a show in Cincinnati for our record release tour, we asked Margaret Darling to share the bill with us before we tapped any other artist. Margaret's music (as a solo artist and with her former band, The Seedy Seeds) has been described as "dizzying, perplexing and wonderfully fun" (NPR), and "no less than impressive - intimate and addictive" (CincyMusic.com).Darling is joining the tour as "guest vocalist," beginning on the opening date in Denver on Oct. 23, the day after the band's self-titled album is released through Hot Congress/Old Flame Records. Click here to check out the music video for the Distant Correspondent track "Summit."Meanwhile, Darling's Seedy Seeds co-founder Mike Ingram has been busy as a road sound technician, but he has found time to work with a new collaborator, great local singer/songwriter/guitarist Jasmine Poole, who works under the name Wonky Tonk. Ingram (who harmonizes and plays guitar) and Poole have been working on new Wonky Tonk material and, given their hectic schedules, they even created a cyber-concert for fans to check out while they wait for it. Wonky Tonk Live Aug 2013 from Wonky Tonk on Vimeo.As luck would have it, both musicians are currently in town and tonight will be performing at the Nothside Tavern. The free show (in the club's "front room") features Wonky Tonk, Mr. Pointy and Kyrst and starts at 9 p.m. Also in Seedy Seedsland, the group's drummer, Joe Frankl, has poured all of his focus back into his great Pop Rock trio of the past 10 years, The Frankl Project, alongside bandmates Jake Trippey and Paul Schroder. The band has been doing regular tour dates in support of its excellent new album, Standards. The band is hosting the album's local release party this Saturday at the Northside Tavern. The show is free and features special guests The Pinstripes, The Happy Maladies and 46 Long. Here's a teaser The Frankl Project posted on YouTube. Click here for more on Frankl Project.
by Mike Breen
Popular area Pop Punk band releases new album at swan song performance
One of Cincy’s more popular Pop Punk bands has decided to call it quits. But first, they're giving fans some new music and one final blow-out show to remember them by. The quintet Loudmouth has played well-attended gigs regularly around town for the past half decade or so, eventually becoming headliners of self-booked multi-band shows at places like Madison Theater in Covington. Tonight, the group returns to the club for its farewell show and the release party for its final album, the eight-song Future Boredom. The band is splitting because guitarist Mike Ulanski took a job teaching English in Abu Dhabi.I sent Loudmouth a few questions about their experiences as a band in Greater Cincinnati and their individual plans moving ahead. The tight knit group of pals got together and answered them as a band.CityBeat: You guys have your last album coming out at the farewell show. Tell me a little about Future Boredom. Was it material you were working on before you decided to split or did you know you were splitting and went in the studio to record these final tunes?Loudmouth: The songs were written or were in the process of being written before Mike announced that he accepted the job offer, but we all knew this was our last record when we went into the studio. The toughest decisions we faced were which songs to record, and how many we could afford to do without sacrificing the quality of each songs production. Tim and Mike were writing lots of songs at the time, but their styles were heading in two different directions, which can be seen on Future Boredom. The songs weren’t written about the break up, but they were recorded as if they were the last songs we’d ever do, which means we couldn’t afford to leave anything unsaid. Between Eric Tuffensdam’s (Moonlight Studios) expertise and our previous studio work with him, we definitely got what we wanted out of this record, a definitive and uncompromised collection of our best written songs.
CB: You guys had a great run of about four or five years. What are you most proud of from your time playing around the area? LM: We’ve been fortunate enough to share a stage with just about every one of the bands we grew up idolizing, but opening for NOFX takes the cake on moments that we’ll remember forever. The proud moment there was that the 2000 people crammed into the Madison Theater didn’t boo us off the stage like NOFX crowds are prone to do. But besides that, we have a lot to be proud of, and more importantly a lot to be thankful for. None of the amazing moments we had as a band would have existed without the help of some amazing people. Frank Heulfeld and Kevin McNamee with the Madison Theater, and before that the Mad Hatter, Rome and the Clifton Heights Music Festival (which we’ve only missed one since the beginning of the festival because we were on tour), Rich and the entire Southgate House staff, Adam and CincyPunk Fest, the staff at the Madison Theater, who among other things, talked the cops out of arresting Tim seconds before we hit the stage, Chris Joselyn and Brian Carothers for all their help booking tours. Above all else, and we mean this with all sincerity, the thing that makes all of us proud and grateful is the support we’ve gotten from day one. We’ve never, not exaggerating, played a show where people didn’t dance by the end of our set. We came up in an age where kids were too cool to dance at shows, and we’ve watched so many great bands play killer sets to a bunch of stone faced hipsters gently bobbing their heads in jaded approval. Those kids got pushed to the back of the crowd when we played, and we couldn’t be more proud to have that kind of effect on people. All that dancing and moshing and shouting of our lyrics translates that people get it, and what’s more, they actually like it, and nothing is more gratifying then having that kind of connection with your friends and fans. CB: Anything you would have done differently?LM: Tour. Tour all the time. We did three tours; the last one to Florida was our most successful, but touring would be the No. 1 priority if we could do anything differently. We probably could have been more business savvy and networked a little more, too.
CB: What's been the low point? LM: The worst show we ever played happened at the Blue Rock Tavern in Northside. There were a lot of people out that night and we were headlining and everything that could have gone wrong did. The P.A. kept over heating, it was 900 degrees and Mike’s guitar broke four songs in, and there was no replacement. We had to just stop. It was embarrassing and people got pissed. Moving out of Loudhouse and losing that as a place to party and throw shows was also a bummer. We had to pay for a practice space again, we lost our afterparty, which had become a huge part of our shows, and, of course, we couldn’t invite a bunch of awesome bands to play the basement. The Bike House died shortly after that, and it seemed like Cincinnati’s basement scene sort of dried up all at once. We went from a city who had an entire weekend fest dedicated to basements to having no real basement venues to speak of. That was definitely a bummer.Shortly after that Sam Duff left the band and the months leading up to and following that time were pretty rough. We practiced in a moldy closet sized room in the back of the Mad Hatter, we weren’t sure who was going to play bass, how we could afford to tour; it was a cold wet winter and things were just all around crappy.CB: Can we expect future musical projects from the Loudmouth members? Any concrete plans as of yet? LM: None of us will ever stop playing music, but where, how and with who is bound to change. Tim, Adam Bret and Chris have already talked about their next project and things are in the works. Mike will be playing acoustic Journey covers at an open mic in Abu Dhabi to pay rent.
CB: What can people expect from the last blow out concert from Loudmouth?LM: You’ll have to come to find out.Tonight's 9 p.m., all-ages show features a great support bill: The Frankl Project, Horsecop, Situation Red and The Milky Way Persuasion. Tickets are $5. Visit www.loudestmouth.com for more on the group and to sample some tunes.
Plus, Browngrass 2012, New Noise Showcase and Stanley's Blues & BBQ offer variety of local performers
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Cincy Punk Pop quintet Loudmouth has played
well-attended gigs regularly around town for the past half decade or so,
eventually becoming headliners of self-booked multi-band shows at
places like Madison Theater in Covington. This Friday, the group returns
to the club for its farewell show and the release party for its final
album, the eight-song Future Boredom.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Heavy, progressive Hard Rock trio Valley of the Sun celebrates the birth of its new EP, The Sayings of the Seers, at the Southgate House’s Parlour room this Thursday. Cincy Art/Prog/Metal ensemble Atlantic Becoming and Columbus’ heavies Lo-Pan open the 9 p.m. show.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The CincyPunk Fest has emerged as one of the most popular benefit concerts in the region, raising money for various charities since its inception a decade ago. For CincyPunk Fest 10, the event returns to Newport’s Southgate House this Saturday and Sunday under new management and with a lineup full of some of the top music-makers in Cincinnati. And, despite its name, the fest is again a showcase for much more than just Punk Rock.
Dec. 31 • Southgate House
0 Comments · Monday, December 27, 2010
This huge whole-house party features performances by some of the area's best rock bands, plus New Year's Eve fun with the Underbelly comedy troupe. All for $10. Go immerse yourself and have fun.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The Brothers and The Sisters feature singer/songwriter Jeremy Pinnell, whose work with The Light Wires and The Great Depression proved him to be one of the most soulful writers in the Folk/Roots arena. The songs are similar but presented in a different setting — instead of electric instruments or a stark acoustic-duo format, The Brothers and The Sisters use banjo, acoustic guitars and dobro (and drums and bass).
Feb. 3 • The Mad Hatter
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 2, 2010
If you're a frequent attendee of local music shows, you've no doubt seen Pat Rice, the 65-year-old "superfan" who probably attends more music events than just about anyone and is beloved by the bands she consistently checks out. Rice recently lost her residence and is without the money for a deposit on a new place to stay, so several bands are hosting an "emergency" benefit show for her.
Oct. 2 • Clifton Heights
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Don't miss the Clifton Heights Music Festival, taking place Friday at four venues, all kicking off at 9 p.m. The lineup is stacked with quality entertainments from all genres, including The Frankl Project, Eagle to Squirrel, Eclipse, Ill Poetic, Chick Pimp Coke Dealer at a Bar and Wonky Tonk.