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Sam Frank The Hour Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

The sound of the best house party you’ll ever attend, and an ASBO waiting to happen.

Louis Pattison 2007

Take a look at the sleeve of The Hour, the debut album from artist/producer Sam Frank, and you’ll probably get a good idea of how this young man approaches the practise of songwriting. An hourglass loaded with keyboards, floating eyeballs, soft pornography hand grenades, shattered TVs and even, somewhat confusingly, a giraffe, it’s a clue to the messed-up genre-mashing, near-the-knuckle humour, and slapdash party attitude that lies within.

A collection of strange broken-beat experiments, profoundly wrong love songs and brassy, punked-up dancefloor numbers atop which their creator holds forth in a bratty sneer, it’s simultaneously the sound of the best house party you’ll ever attend, and an ASBO waiting to happen. “Aggressive Old Man” is the album at its pumped-up best, a weighty, high-octane mash-up of modem bleeps, sludgy keyboard and scattershot drums that comes on like Daft Punk rewired by daft punks. The likes of “All I Want Is A Good Time” and “Multiple Partners” head into more familiar downbeat territory, all skittering beats, popping bass and smooth saxophone; but just when you think Frank’s heading the way of a dozen other good-vibes producers, he’ll chuck in a track like “I End Up Disturbed”, a tale of abuse and neglect made all the more disturbing by the fact it appears to be sung by a 15-year old schoolgirl.

The Hour is at its most memorable, though, when Frank grabs the mic. “Adult Friend” is about the difficulties of finding sex partners through social networking sites, an off-key hop of squeaky keyboards, bouncy drums and 8-bit computer game trills that sees Frank cry foul at some internet tease: “You make me feel like some geek who’s trying to get laid with his modem!” he rasps. And then there’s "Sexy Mom", a sleazy funk number in the vein of Funkadelic or Sly And The Family Stone that sees him out to win the affections of an older lady. ‘M.I.L.F, fine-ass M.I.L.F’ chorus the backing singers, but as you might expect from Frank, there’s trouble on the horizon. ‘Is that your dad with the baseball bat?’ he gulps. Assuming he gets out alive, Sam Frank could go a long way.

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