Frankie And The Witch Fingers: Data Doom [Album Review]

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Frankie And The Witch Fingers
Data Doom
The Reverberation Appreciation Society / Greenway Records [2023]

First of all, let me start with a disclaimer: Frankie and the Witch Fingers are embarking on a tour in support of their latest album, Data Doom. If you have the opportunity to attend their concert, I highly recommend it. The last time I saw the band perform, allow me to set the scene for you. Dylan, Josh, Nikki, and Nick took the stage, and immediately, you could sense the electrifying intensity in the air. Josh assumed control of the keys, and much like a creature emerging from the depths of the black lagoon, the mesmerizing sounds of “Empire” commenced their assault on the senses. Ever since that enthralling riff first reached my ears, I was certain that it needed to be part of an album, and now, that moment has arrived. Data Doom stands as Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ seventh LP, crafted in collaboration with their new full-time members: Nikki Pickle (formerly of Death Valley Girls) and Nick Aguilar (previously of Slaughterhouse and Mike Watt fame).

In an interview with Spin, Dylan attributes the infusion of extra flair and excitement in the writing process to the two new members. Data Doom can be likened to a high-octane V8 Hemi-powered U.F.O. hurtling through the galaxy and beyond. The release of “Empire” into the wild marks a significant milestone for Frankie, firmly establishing them in the league of strong starters. Equally as captivating as the opener “Dracula Drug” from 2019’s ZAM, the majestic opening riff of “Empire” infiltrates and overwhelms the auditory senses. Remaining true to Frankie’s style, they sidestep monotonous repetition and swiftly transition into laser-focused guitar harmonies. Eventually, the band declares, “OK, WEIRDOES! – It’s time to dance,” culminating in a neutron star freakout that seamlessly recedes back into the initial riff.

The band has always embraced in-your-face barnburners, and Data Doom continues this tradition. “Burn Me Down” charges ahead, accompanied by horns that infuse it with a powerful and “21st Century Schizoid” prog vibe. With no holds barred, “Electricide” obliterates the senses. The song concludes with a hefty, fuzzy stomper that pays homage to Ty Segall’s Slaughterhouse.

Half of the album’s charm stems from its influences and nods to other contemporaries. Besides mentioning Ty and King Crimson, there are other elements that I can point out. “Doom Boom,” another funky shaker, offers a fleeting echo of “6,000 Horns” from 2016’s Heavy Roller. With its anxiety-laden keys and strings, “Futurephobic” channels its buzzing energy towards a passage that wouldn’t feel out of place on King Gizzard’s Murder of the Universe (2017). Speaking of Gizz, “Syster System” takes a turn towards a passage with dynamic energy found on Nonagon Infinity (2016). Concluding with a blend of funk and punk, “Political Cannibalism” circles back to reference itself once more, mirroring the danceable moments of Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters (2020).

“Like Black Mirror, but With More Freakdancing” would have been an apt alternative title. Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ Data Doom revolves around the concept that we’re undergoing indoctrination and even abduction through technology. They’re really not wrong, and this theme serves as excellent material for the album. Frankie’s brand of muscular psych-punk isn’t solely for headbanging; it now invites you to shake your ass. Frankie and the Witch Fingers continue to demonstrate why they stand as one of the hardest-working bands around. With albums like this, they will only continue to get bigger and bigger!

“Empire” / “Syster System” / “Futurephobic”

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard / Osees / FUZZ

Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . . (2020) / ZAM (2019) / Heavy Roller (2016) / Frankie And The Witch Fingers (2015)

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | The Reverberation Appreciation Society | Greenway Records

Christopher Tahy

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