Franklin Mint – Scrage

Franklin Mint – Scrage

Franklin Mint hail from Bristol, not far from my place of residence, a city which has an interesting musical heritage with a number of great bands and a wide choice of live venues. The band rose from the ashes of a prior outfit called Gargantuant, on their Facebook page describing themselves thus: “From the dismembered corpse of Gargantuant emerged a new band with the same strange intensity and familiar punch-in-the-face riffs but this time wearing bunny slippers. Halfway between Prog and Punk yet sounding like neither, deadly serious but laughing all the way to the bottom of the cliff.”

The Facebook page continues the air of mystery surrounding the band, all members are listed with the title ‘Mr’ and a first name, furthermore they cite their influences as “tides, gravity, the Moon”. What is clear is that their music, which blends elements of rock and punk with progressive leanings, gives the listener an upfront and exciting listen. There’s an angry edge at times coupled with some great riffs, which become increasingly catchy on repeated plays. The music has an original slant with influences appearing to be in the vein of the great NoMeansNo (NMN), with touches of Primus at times, which leads to some interesting music.

This debut album comprises ten tracks, averaging around four to five minutes each, and it’s an exhilarating forty seven minutes which has that ‘hit repeat’ effect. Opening song Animal Balloons has a fresh but in your face start, which gives way to a slightly more sedate pace punctuated with stabbing riffs. This is followed by Narcissus with its rumbling drums and bass supporting some great guitar and vocals, to me reminiscent of NMN.

The focus on guitar riffs with excellent support from the rhythm section continues throughout the album. Keyboards are used sparingly but to great effect and Mr Nick delivers the vocals with clarity and a preciseness reminiscent of NMN’s Rob Wright, with touches of Captain Beefheart. It all works well with the music. There are some great riffs spread throughout, some holding the anger, but this goes along with what the band are trying to achieve lyrically.

The song used to promote the album, Shark vs Sheep, begins with an Alt-Rock feel before the riff changes, getting more urgent to accompany the vocals, and what unusual lyrics they are; “There are sharks in the water and snakes in the trees. Like a lamb to the slaughter. Not the bees, not the bees.” Odd maybe, but these words get inside your head and you start to repeat the song in your mind along with the great music. This track segues into the next, Wormhole, which has a gentler, almost mellow start before a crashing guitar changes things and ups the ante.

Bullies and Thieves begins with some spoken words, delivered with a melodic slant before the rest of the band crash in, driving things forward. Silk Lined Casket has some urgent guitar that grabs your attention while the vocals deal with a wish to have someone installed in the said casket, the introduction of the keyboards adding a sinister feel. Tiny Gyroscopes ends the album, a song whose lyrics deal with a body washed up on a beach; with a sweeping keyboard start, the rest of the band join in to continue with what at first appears a mellow piece, again gradually picking up pace and intensity towards the end.

Overall this is a very good debut album, giving clear pointers to where Franklin Mint could take things on future releases. Repeated plays reveal hidden depths beneath the sometimes full on music and ‘in-your-face’ riffs. An enjoyable mix of great playing, vocals and song writing which I feel is well worth investigating.

01. Animal Balloons (5:04)
02. Narcissus (3:19)
03. Silk Lined Casket (5:00)
04. Skulls and Bones (4:18)
05. Luna (5:56)
06. Bullies and Thieves (3:11)
07. Marmalade (5:45)
08. Shark vs Sheep (4:09)
09. Wormhole (4:43)
10. Tiny Gyroscopes (5:48)

Total Time – 47:08

Mr Nick – Vocals
Mr Mark – Bass
Mr Al – Guitar, Keyboards
Mr Andrew – Drums

Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 1st June 2018

Franklin Mint – Facebook | Bandcamp