Francis Trouble (LP)


Albert Hammond Jr.

Vinyl
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$19.98
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Also available in: CD

Amoeba Review

03/08/2018

Long ago, back when The Strokes first became the next big thing, the band made a point of honoring their indie rock heroes of much-less cultural cache, Guided By Voices, by paying frequent lip service and even featuring them in their video for “Someday.” This is mostly due to guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., who discovered GBV in his teen years before later introducing them to his fellow Strokes. While those other members have pursued different sonic avenues in various side projects (as well as in subsequent reunion Strokes albums), it is AHJ’s work that most reflects GBV’s spirit of impeccably written music: catchy and concise tunes that bridge the gaps between the classic rock ‘n roll eras of the British Invasion up through Punk and Post-Punk. Yet, that’s not to suggest GBV is the reason that AHJ’s music has remained so remarkably consistent in sound and quality. Rather, his brand of songwriting is instantly pleasing and familiar because AHJ is the man responsible for what makes the Strokes sound so…well, Strokes-y.

 

Francis Trouble sticks to the script. That’s no knock, because the script is perfect. Strummed, propulsive guitars alternate with contrapuntal bass lines and vice versa; effective in a way that’s downright baroque in its little intricacies, as if Bach was wrote chamber music pieces for garage rock. “Set To Attack” picks up where the Strokes’ last left off their drunken midnight melancholy somewhere in 2004. “Far Away Truths” features a power pop hook so sharp it could have had a featured appearance on The O.C. soundtrack back in the day. “Muted Beatings” is all staccato guitars and whining synths over jittery desperation. There’s a clear formula to what makes these songs work, yet tweaked enough that it never grows stale. Advice for AHJ? Never change.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
DvsL
Albert Hammond Jr. 02:57
2.
Far Away Truths
Albert Hammond Jr. 03:38
3.
Muted Beatings
Albert Hammond Jr. 03:16
4.
Set to Attack
Albert Hammond Jr. 03:28
5.
Tea for Two
Albert Hammond Jr. 04:08


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Stop and Go
Albert Hammond Jr. 03:52
2.
Screamer
Albert Hammond Jr. 02:31
3.
Rocky's Late Night
Albert Hammond Jr. 04:16
4.
Strangers
Albert Hammond Jr. 03:53
5.
Harder, Harder, Harder
Albert Hammond Jr. 03:46

Vinyl
Buy
$19.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
1 used from 14.99
Also available in: CD
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