Man-Size Band of the Month, August 2010: Frankie Rose and the Outs

9 Aug

If you don’t recognize the name Frankie Rose, chances are you’ve at least encountered her work. As a founding member of Vivian Girls (she’s the one who came up with the name, coined after the transgender heroines created by outsider artist Henry Darger), Rose penned the band’s most well-liked tune to date, “Where Do You Run To”. Shortly after Vivian Girls ascended to the top of the lo-fi heap– not to mention spearheading the girl-group-punk movement that’s been in vogue for the past couple of years– Rose jumped ship to play drums for the excellent (and massively unheralded) Crystal Stilts, from which she briefly joined the hotly-tipped California girl-group-punk band Dum Dum Girls. With such a stellar resume already under her belt, it would be a fool’s bet to think her solo debut wouldn’t match the output of her previous gigs.

Stepping from behind the drum kit to form Frankie Rose and the Outs, Rose puts her songwriting skills to good use immediately, starting with the alluring and slow-burning opener “Hollow Life”, with its humming organs and spine-tingling harmonies. From the outset, it’s clear that Rose knows her shit, whether it’s taking in the influence of beloved noise-poppers Black Tambourine on “Girlfriend Island” or offering a shimmering cover of Arthur Russell’s “You Can Make Me Feel Bad”, but it’s on songs like the driving “Candy” or tension-building closer “Save Me” where Rose comes into her own as a songwriter, proving that, as she did with the handful of bands she has played for, that she can literally go anywhere with her talent.

Frankie Rose and the Outs will be released on Slumberland Records September 21st.

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