Frank and Deans – How Did You All Get In My Room?
This wildly ingenious four piece from the Las Vegas area will make a big impression with their first release. Franks and Deans are a tribute act aiming for the unlikely marriage of Rat Pack era songwriting with the bite of hard-hitting punk rock. Their first album How Did You All Get In My Room? is a brilliant piece of musical art, but further pushes the pop art envelope. The album cover is a direct cop from the albums of the Rat Pack’s prime while their visual presentation focuses on their genuine humorous edge, but the music is unquestionably serious. Franks and Deans are a powerful musical force with the ability to take their music anywhere they like and connect with audiences under a variety of contexts. The thirteen songs on the first album cover the gamut and will satisfy many.
It’s a cover album, but anyone familiar with the Rat Pack’s body of songs will scarcely recognize the transformation undergone on this material. “Ain’t That a Kick” becomes a two-fisted lament about bad luck and good times with a percolating bass line and rough-hewn guitars. The tunes are a little too busy to invest them with the same cool, stylish phrasing singers like Sinatra and Martin specialized in, but Franks and Deans does it well replacing the sophistication with sheer exuberance. They really capture the grand theatricality of “Lady Is A Tramp” with white-hot flair and steely confidence. None of these songs take a bad turn musically and “Lady Is a Tramp” receives a particularly enthusiastic treatment. They take the camp and skill to a new height with their headspinning reinvention of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore”. After a quasi-symphonic rave up with guitars, they launch into a breakneck paced rendition of the song that would make old Deano roll in his grave – with laughter. Their obvious affection for the music comes through as well.
The reverb guitar introduces “Mambo Italiano” is soon joined by some deliciously spot on harmony vocals before the band slides headlong into another romping guitar attack. They shift gears again, just to make you additionally dizzy, into an actual mambo time signature. It’s quite eyepopping to hear how capably they handle the assortment of tempo shifts. “Mr. Bojangles” receives an equally astonishing reinvention as a low-cut, even slightly arty, punk rocker. The band does a remarkable job of keeping the vocal melody of the original while laying down a buzzsaw accompaniment all around it. The final song on the album, “You’re Nobody (Until Somebody Loves You)” starts off with some surprisingly soft peddled guitar delightfully miked up from a distance while the vocals, played completely straight, are laid over the top with total clarity. The inevitable descent into full throated punk rock comes soon enough and gives the song quite a rousing finale befitting the original’s quality. You won’t hear another album like this in 2016. Maybe ever again. Franks and Deans are fearless and they’ve got the chops to back up everything they do.
9 out of 10 stars