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music review:

Frankie Death & the Photon Belt ::: "Soundtrack for the film Future Unseen"

psychedelic - pop - trip-hop

Think late-60s/early 70s Pink Floyd psychedelia mixed with the funky elements of the Beastie Boys, a hint of early-80s Adam Ant gothic-pirate gun-ho-spirit, childhood dreamlike memories and you'll get something close to what this is. Though their first CD, this is the second album from these aural weirdos - they had a previous cassette release (highly recommended) plus Frankie Death has released numerous solo albums. This album has 12 tracks over 50 minutes (including a secret track, but that's a secret so I haven't told you about it, o.k.?)

This album is structured so that instrumental "photon beltish" sound-scapes alternate in sequence with the vocal-featuring "Frankie Deathish" tracks; works very well. There are some truly mind-expanding aural sound-scapes here courtesy of the Evil Ernie (who fits in as the main photon belt side of the equation). Picture yourself floating through clear skies over exotic landscapes, through the inner earth encountering lots of bizzare worlds and creatures. And some great songs with Mr. Death's identity vocals: a strange mixture, sometimes reminiscent of a nasalish pirate (like some early gothic acts such as Sex Gang Children), a theatrical chipmunk, and the singer from Suede. "Future Unseen" is a slow folky piece with apparent musical influences from spaghetti western soundtracks.

"Caught Between" is driven by a funky beat, melodic vocals and interesting musical tangents. "Lovekult" is the biggest ear-catcher, sexiest and most stand-out track on the album. Sounds sort of like Brit-pop band Suede doing techno-pop. Raucous guitars, doof-beat and sexy coy-boy vocals. You'll find it featured on the "Blatant Propaganda Vol.1 CD". I can imagine lots of teenage kids getting off on this song. I do. I love the "hum chant" which follows this track too, though it would be better if it were 30 minutes longer so I could meditate to it. "Garden Seed" has a mellow funky beat, acoustic guitar parts and vocals vaguely reminiscent of a subdued Beastie Boys.

"Face the Music" contains trip-hop beats, acoustic guitars and meloncholy nasalish theatrical-pirate-gothic vocals (which I like!). "Guided" completes the album with trippy beats, melodies, sound snippets and perhaps the clearest mix and definition of the vocals among all the tracks. Overall, a wonderfully great album that takes many listens to fully appreciate. There is so much in it! Sadly though, I think it may be largely overlooked by the music press as a) it's an underground release; and b) it doesn't fit neatly into any established genres. Actually, they make new ones.

Top stuff.

$10 Aust. from:

E-mail: [email protected] and also from Yippie Bean Records

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