[sic] Magazine

Frankie Rose & The Outs – Frankie Rose & The Outs

Impeccable résumé in hand, Frankie Rose – formerly of Crystal Stilts , Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls – has direction in mind on her debut solo release.

Drawing unquestionably from the sonic murk of her formative years and now backed by The Outs , her self-titled project takes the fuzzy garage-rock template so familiar to her, has it run through with that jangle and those 60s girl-group harmonies, and only deviates when it comes to reverb level. For here, on occasion, as on the wistful Arthur Russell cover and strongly Raveonettes -reminiscent “You Can Make Me Feel Bad If You Want To”, it comes tuned all the way to drone.

It’s a trick that, along with slower-than-slow keyb-organ drift, has bagged her support slots alongside spaced pioneers Wooden Shjips . When push comes to shove however, it’s the harmonies, not the glassy repeats, that bubble their way to the surface here, and because of this precision in production Rose’s album retains a cleanliness that one might not expect.

Though Rose’s debut flutters into existence on organ, funereally-paced percussion and her own dreamy vocal, order is restored for the echo-y, girl-group garage-pop of “Candy”, as well as on the harmonising romp “Little Brown Haired Girls”. An hereto-unbeknownst surf riff props up the oohs and aahs of the tight “That’s What People Told Me” and it duly hits like a Best Coast track, if Beth Cosentino was recording while lost at sea.

Another of these riffs sits pretty on top of the galloping drums found on “Girlfriend Island”, but just as the LP becomes predictable, so it changes. The open spaces so prominent on “Memo” allow the drumming to again come into focus, as well as the resulting waves, not walls, of sound.

Latterly, a jangly guitar line similar to the one popularised by Chuck Berry ‘s “You Never Can Tell” is borrowed for “Must Be Nice”, and “Don’t Tred” pits discerning dance-floor bass against rich layers of proper garage-rock. Rose closes her album, perhaps unsurprisingly considering its influences, in the world of Phil Spector . What starts as warmly familiar but unoriginal on “Save Me” is, maybe tellingly, saved by a bed of low-in-the-mix reverb that gently toasts the lengthy repeats and feedback of the outro.

In brief summary, it really ought to be recommendation enough to say that Frankie Rose flying solo is at least as good as half of the bands name-checked above. If it isn’t, then more fool you, because small niggles about originality aside, you’ll go along way to find another album of such considered delivery, provided so effortlessly.

Advised downloads: “You Can Make Me Feel Bad If You Want To” and “That’s What People Told Me”.

~Frankie Rose & The Outs is out now in the US on Slumberland , and will be released October 11th 2010 in the UK on Memphis Industries .~