Monday, 9 February 2015

The Fire And Brimstone Rocketship Of Ragtime Frank

Leighton Craig (Primitive Motion, The Deadnotes, Kindling House) told me about Ragtime Frank just before I left Australia in 2014. He also sent me his album, I'm A Rocketship For My Lord, a few months ago - but it's only been the past week, when I was laid up with the good ol chest infection, that I finally slipped myself into these corroded blues, and I have no idea why I waited so long. With Craig helping out on drums and some vocals, the album focuses primarily on the unhinged fuzz brew that percolates unsteadily from Frank's guitar, and the gravelly sermons that spit from his lips. With his "cats" and "dig" calls, you still aren't mistaking these serrated lo-fi devolutions as jazz locutions - or even gospel proclamations - even though the vehement delivery is that of a rabid, blues-drenched evangelist. It's a cacophonous maelstrom, always threatening to fall apart but resolutely, belligerently staying off-kilter yet forever upright, and Frank's battered preacher's yowl and guitar-as-crucifix-and-Bible is slammed maniacally into your soul. Incredible.

I'm A Rocketship For My Soul is out through Little Chief Records now.

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