Los Angeles psych rockers unleash mind-altering chaos on thrilling new album
We’ve been big fans of L.A. psych rockers Frankie and the Witch Fingers for a long time, but we’ve been sweating it out and waiting for another full-length album ever since Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters dropped over three years ago. Today that wait is over, as the band have finally uncorked their explosively heady new LP Data Doom. It’s another powerhouse of a record – packed with hypnotic riffs and mind-altering rhythms – that sees the quartet foraging even deeper into a heavier sonic abyss.
On Data Doom, Frankie and the Witch Fingers tackle an impending digital apocalypse with shapeshifting prowess. The album is fraught with mounting tension and spiraling instrumental chaos, at times skyrocketing the listener to stratospheric sonic precipices before plunging them back to manic depths where the line between fantasy and reality disintegrates.
We previously heard lead single “Empire,” which opens the album with a dash of Sabbath-like madness; it’s a monolithic opener that sets the LP’s frantic pace into motion. From there, the band toggles to psych-punk pastures via “Burn Me Down,” whose choppy, jolting rhythms conjure a touch of Afrobeat and protopunk. As always, singer-guitarist Dylan Sizemore’s mesmerizing vocal wails steer the ship with dauntless enthusiasm, ready to fight off any apocalyptic freaks or demons that confront them along the way. Guitarist Josh Menashe’s riffs are as bold and titanic as ever, like weapons being furnished in a dystopian war. Meanwhile, Frankie welcomes a brand new rhythm section on Data Doom in the form of bassist Nicole “Pickle” Smith (formerly of fellow psych rock unit Death Valley Girls) and drummer Nick Aguilar (formerly drummer for punk legend Mike Watt). The resulting rhythmic palette is throttling, pummeling, and able to turn on a dime at any moment, allowing the band to explore plenty of trippy momentum-shifting detours.
As the doomsday clock approaches, Frankie and the Witch Fingers spur listeners into action on “Weird Dog,” which radiates touches of avant-jazz and zamrock before launching into celestial orbit via towering guitar riffage and trippy, reverb-soaked production. The record cools down a bit on the groovy mid-tempo jam “Doom Boom,” whose simmering synths along with Sizemore’s falsetto croon conjure a soulful ’70s-style psych pop anthem. Previously-released single “Futurephobic” forms the album’s emphatic thesis statement, capturing a decaying world of digital chaos and delirium that quickly spirals out of control: “System has no way to connect! NO CONNECTION,” Sizemore barks over an ominous swirl of guitars, synths, and puncturing percussion, foreshadowing a dicey future.
On Data Doom, the group explores elements of experimental jazz, Afrobeat, psych-punk and protopunk, in addition to their signature garage-psych soundscapes. The result is Frankie’s most diverse album to date, proving that even seven albums into their career, the group is as fresh and innovative as ever. Having self-produced the record in their L.A. studio, the band lathers a raw DIY intensity over the entire album that resonates in tandem with the defiant themes on hand. The band paints a picture of AI-generated doom and gloom, of tyrannical robopocalyptic wastelands, of man-versus-machine mania. Ultimately, Data Doom becomes a ferocious call-to-arms, urging listeners to fight back with them. As the record fades out on closer “Political Cannibalism,” the point becomes clear. On Data Doom, we’re all brothers and sisters in arms.
You can purchase Data Doom HERE and stream it below: