A-Frames CD review [Sub Pop]

Music Reviews
A-Frames CD review [Sub Pop]
Mar 22, 2005, 04:27

A-FRAMES Black Forest CD

3-piece, Seattle.  First couple spins I was scratching me head thanks to the solid rip-and-burn of their first 2 LPs not being as instantaneous or obvious here.

For those not familiar with the A-Frames,  previous outings imagined a brutal attack of minimalism and angularity ala primo Teenage Jesus and The Jerks guided by choice 80s U.K. post-punk with pop sensibilities (think Wire's “I am the Fly). And while Black Forest certainly isn't a compromise, or an attempt to clean up in hopes of grabbing the brass ring there's certainly a more varied approach this outing as compared to what at worst could have been described previously as a mere two-dimensional assault. No slight intended, but oh what a mighty fucking stomp those first 2 LPs are. No doubt, what's on display here is what your average critic geek would call “depth” and “growth.” For fuck sake, the song “Eva Braun” borders on being a ballad. Okay, it's more of a pretty dirge, but certainly what a welcome surprise. Also, by screwing around with additional instruments, tempo structures and a more varied vocal approach (“Flies,” “Memoranda,” “My Teacher” or “U-Boat”) there's now an added dimension gained by the use of atmospheric and sparse sounds girding the A-Frames arsenal.  And meanwhile, songs like “Age of Progress,” “Negative” and “Galena” should satisfy folks previously intimate with the band in search of familiar territory.

If this is Seattle's response to the majority of punk/wave revisionist dreck coming from the East Coast these days then sign me up to fight for the Seattle side. Unlike the East Coasties, the A-Frames actually have the weight and edge of said influences and are bringing a shit-load more to the table in terms of essential, raw power and all the while still mapping out some new, uncharted territory. Fucking amazing! [Sub Pop]

-Haze XXL

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