Frank (just Frank) and Soviet Soviet :: Split 12inch (Mannequin)

“…Frank (just Frank) offer up a medley of synthesizer and strings with The Smiths echoing in the lyrics… Soviet Soviet are much more of the traditional band, that is guitar, bass and drums. Yet, it is their post punk and no wave edge that separates them from others…”

2052 image 1(October 2010) I’ve always had a soft spot for split releases. They give a nice amount of space to each artist to display their sound. Mannequin started off their split series with Newclear Waves and Opus Finis, adding Led Er Est and Ancien Régime recently. Next up is Frank (just Frank) and Soviet Soviet divided across one piece of wax. So what has this latest in the Mannequin line got to offer?

Frank (just Frank) got a fantastic reception for their debut album, The Brutal Wave, on Wierd. Now the UK/French outfit offer up five tracks for Mannequin. The synthesizer knives are out to start , with the fast paced and analogue drenched “A Decade of Brutality.” An instrumental piece of accelerated and uncompromising synth wave. “Child Play” follows and the synths are central once more. Vocals, en francais, land for this piece with guitars adding another element to the upbeat melancholy. The tempo is raised for the catchy notes of “Do the Soviet.” Guitars have eclipsed synths with the track having quite a post punk chorus injected into its composition.”Valerie” is up next, flowing in from a similar vein to “Do the Soviet.” Strings and french vocals come together to produce a modern Factory Records feel. Frank (just Frank)’s quintet finishes with guitar and synth melting together with “Saint,” a powerful piece to end on.

Soviet Soviet likewise serve up five pieces. The post punk energy of “Lokomotiv” hits the listener first, with a barrage of string, bass and beat layered over driving lyrics. “Corbetto” is on the same wavelength, angst filled lyrics with just a touch of Man or Astroman in some of the strings. The tracks have a primal tone to them, an unattainable desire pulsing through stark lyrics and constant bass; summed up in the ultimate piece “Bulgary.”

This latest split 12″ sees quite a divide in style. Frank (just Frank) offer up a medley of synthesizer and strings with The Smiths echoing in the lyrics. Interestingly an instrumental aspect comes into their work, one which did not feature to the same extent on The Brutal Wave. Soviet Soviet are much more of the traditional band, that is guitar, bass and drums. Yet, it is their post punk and no wave edge that separates them from others. The Italian trio have a rawness to them, one of youthful exuberance coupled with realized disappointment. The 12″ has added to Mannequin’s roster, not just in a catalog sense. The record has expanded the labels sound, allowing them to explore new avenues and artists with sublime results.

This split 12″ releases is out now on Mannequin.

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