Review: Frank Never Dies “Red Moon Rising” [Argonauta Records]

Review: Frank Never Dies “Red Moon Rising” [Argonauta Records]

- in Reviews

Frank Never Dies is an Italian psychedelic rock band. Formed in 2018, they record their first album Behind The Paradox, which was released in 2020. And now the time has come for the sophomore LP named Red Moon Rising.

The album’s name, according to the band, was chosen because of red moon’s symbolism. “[…] worshipped or feared symbol: before it, the humanity reveals its most irrational aspect, between madness and adoration,” states the band.  Just like the mysterious and enigmatic atmosphere in this album.

Unlike the previous, fully instrumental album, here the voices of guitarist Mirko Giuseppone and keyboardist Simona Ferrucci can be heard. It is not always singing – sometimes it can be spoken word or “melodeclamation” – but everything here is done for the atmosphere and the voices too.

All seven tracks with total time a little more than 40 minutes have their own distinct atmosphere: it can be tense and a little disturbing, like in the opening track “Peep Show” or relaxing, in contrast, like in “One of these Nights” where calm drums and prolonged keyboards create the soundscape from 80s movies. You know, that movies with sunset over the ocean and the night, full of neon; where protagonist drives the coastal highway with palms on the sides. But if we are talking about soundscapes, the most impressing for me was “Audrey”, where the band created the atmosphere of some old sci-fi movies about space, where there is only infinite blackness and little you in the middle of it.

Meanwhile, musically this album can’t be called strictly “psychedelic rock”: there are some funk elements (bassist Francesco Papadia is in response for them) or even trip-hop. Sometimes music even turns to post rock, like in “Living Spell”. However, I don’t want to get deep into deconstruction because there is a lot of things here, like in the mentioned “Living Spell” post rock changes with grunge with its dirty guitar sound and desperate Mirco’s yells (by the way, this sharp mood change from quiet sadness to some bad disorder is very impressive), and in a minute everything changes again – bass on a forefront, silent psychedelic guitar and “space” keyboards again. This happens in every track.

In addition, I was impressed by two, absolutely opposite tracks: “Red Moon Rising” and “Know My Name”. The first one has the eerie atmosphere, quite hard guitar sound and interesting drum pattern from Luca Zannini; he also provides groove on this track. Again, psychedelic guitar solo fits very well. In its turn, the closing “Know My Name” is very relaxing and cinematic soundscape: one more time there is 80s mood, a little bit funky guitar, nice vocals, unsophisticated melody and repetitive lyrics. Here and there come different sounds, bringing some variety to the arrangement while guitar and keyboards solo are so “in style”, you can’t ask for more.

The diverse of tracks, atmosphere and lots of musical elements, interrelated pretty well, that’s what Red Moon Rising is about. Musicians did the great job here, showed their songwriting approach and fantasy after all. It can be said that such music could be a good background, theoretically, but unfortunately not for me: I would be glad to do my stuff, listening to this album but at first the atmosphere of tracks hooked me, then I started to highlight various elements in music, which was also interesting and captivation. Maybe someone will be luckier than me.

Red Mood Rising  will be released on March, 29th via Argonauta Records.

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