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Friday, April 18, 2008

Black Francis

SVN FNGRS (Cooking Vinyl)

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Pixies frontman Black Francis has produced another short CD in the white heat of sweat and inspiration. SVN FNGRS was written and recorded in six days with Francis (guitar, vocals, harmonica) accompanied only by a drummer and bassist. Much of it is melodic alternative rock driven by ringing guitars, though tangents are audible. With its slippery, sliding chords and barked vocals, “The Seus” suggests the Gang of Four, and the Velvet Underground’s DNA can be discerned in the enigmatic “I Sent Away.” Comparisons, however, fall short when writing about Francis, who is making some of the most compelling rock ’n’ roll of the 21st century from the conviction of his performances and his mastery over the music’s vocabulary, grammar and history. The seven-song SVN FNGRS’ closing track, “When They Come to Murder Me,” ends the album on a chilling note.

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