Franklin Mint - Hoo Ha

Franklin Mint – Hoo Ha

There are times when you want to hear music that is instantly enjoyable and can put a smile on your face. Well here we are with Franklin Mint’s third full album Hoo-Ha. These guys, who hail from Bristol, continue with their blend of rock and punk with progressive leanings, which is most effective. There are a number of influences that can be heard running through the music. For me I hear touches of Frank Zappa and NoMeansNo, to name just two. Now that said, these songs are no copies of those styles, the band have, over their three albums, forged their own style and path. The band describe themselves on their Bandcamp page with “Welcome to our strange and wonderful world of song. Influenced by many and sounding like none. You’re lucky to have found us and we’re glad you did.” I think that covers it and says it all about what this band are about and are trying to do.

This third album follows the debut Scrage (2018), and Bristle (2021) (both of which I was lucky enough to review for TPA), and an earlier EP release from 2014. Hoo-Ha has begun to refine the style which they set out on those previous releases, demonstrating an almost natural progression throughout. Here we are given an album consisting of twelve tracks which range in running times from three-and-a-half minutes to the longest at just shy of seven minutes. All the songs were written collectively by the band and the lyrics by Nick Law are sharp, witty and at times observational.

Things get off to an interesting start with opener Evil Eye, an almost gentle start easing you in before the band crash in a minute-and-a-half in for a more in your face approach. The gentle refrain returns for an interlude, but the song remains forceful with some excellent bass work from Mark Toghill. The lead promotional track, Ducks, is next, continuing the sharp songwriting, and these songs help set the tone for a very interesting journey through the album, with gentler moments intercut with their more upfront approach.

Now I don’t really want to go through the album track by track, because I believe that will spoil the enjoyment and surprise of the first listen. Suffice to say it is an album full of energy and drive, packed with quality, variety and some excellent lyric writing, which can be quite humorous at times. Just reading some of the song titles may give you a clue of what is to come lyrically. The playing is top quality with some great vocal delivery from Nick Law, the right balance melody and attack of the lyrics as needed. There are so many highlights it would be difficult to pick a favourite, and for me that is a sign of a complete and solid album.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable album, it also has a a great cover photo – who can resist that dog’s happy face? Franklin Mint have delivered a winning combination of great tunes with a slight edge and some excellent observational humour. This is a band that need to be more widely heard, go on give them a listen, you will be in for a treat.

01. Evil Eye (5:21)
02. Ducks (3:53)
03. Let’s Kill Some Animals (4:21)
04. Dick Hates Snowflakes (3:44)
05. Magazine Heads (5:03)
06. Mycelium (6:54)
07. Numband (4:21)
08. New Adam, New Eve (3:43)
09. Whirligig (3:48)
10. Corncob (3:41)
11. Moths (5:25)
12. We Are AFNA (3:21)

Total Time – 53:52

Nick Law – Vocals
Al Ross – Guitar, Keyboards
Mark Toghill – Bass
Andrew Marshall – Drums

Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 3rd February 2023

Franklin Mint – Facebook | Bandcamp