That is the word that left my lips of its own volition whilst tripping in the middle of “Dracula Drug”, the opening salvo track on Frankie and the Witch Fingers latest release ZAM. This is an album that really knows where it’s been and where it’s going, as it blends solid rhythms, with percussive guitar weaving reminiscent of The Stones, The Strokes, and The Hives, but with a vocal swagger that is at the same time unpretentious, confident, and magnetic.
Vocalist Dylan Sizemore tells it like it is on tracks “Work” and “Realization”, and the tightness of the single “Pleasure” leaves an impression that this band has been together a lot longer than six years. The title track is an instrumental giant on par with the late 60’s jams of the likes of Jefferson Airplane and The Yardbirds, but with the modernity of Closure in Moscow’s Pink Lemonade. This is a band that knows how to use effects and tone to their advantage, as evident on “Cobwebs” and “Dark Sorcerer”, as the flanging fuzzed out guitars of Sizemore and Josh Menashe, and overdriven bass of Alex Bulli drive the strong songwriting but never overpowers, leaving just enough breathing room for the background vocals and harmonies to polish the tracks. Drummer Shaughnessy Starr, who aside from having one of the coolest names in this reality, is a very competent percussionist, providing exactly the intensity needed to maintain the conceptual clarity of “Purple Velvet”. The production throughout is very precise, as shown on their nine-and-a-half-minute epic “Underneath You”. Effects delayed into infinity along with progressive leads and masterful use of dual guitar solos wind the mind before coalescing into a trip worthy of Leary and Burroughs. The album concludes with the aptly named “Head Collector”, a capstone to a dissertation on the darker side of life, lust, and schadenfreude.
ZAM from Frankie and the Witch Fingers delivers on all fronts, a wonderful journey through the absurd, where it is easy to get lost in the acid forest of sound, and honestly, I’m happy to keep wandering.
Chris is a contributor of Nanobot Rock. When not loving all things music he’s blazing musical trails in the Dallas, Texas area.