This fairly eclectic effort from Philadelphia's Franklin sees the band expanding its increasingly limitless musical boundaries and pulling out some distinguished grooves along the way. Combining post-rock and punk sounds with plenty of slowed-down reggae interludes, the group creates a melange of sounds inspired by late Clash, with vocals that at times are completely reminiscent of Perry Farrell. The four-piece honestly seems just as comfortable with faster disjointed rock efforts as with the chilled-out dub rock approach, and the seven-song disc sees the bandmembers try out all of their styles with equally emotional and inspired results. Franklin's follow-up record saw a much tighter interpretation of the group's musical approach, but the loose presentation of these songs still overflows with feeling and infectiously twisted rhythms. Singer Ralph Darden has a tough vocal presence that adds to the band's more expansive reworking of its Bad Brains-styled music, and the rest of the band is just as skilled contributing lagging tribal drumbeats and extremely versatile guitar lines. This may not be Franklin's greatest record, but it is still a pretty interesting collection of music that has more charming and exploratory influences than a lot of what is out there.
Building in A and E Review
by Peter J. D'Angelo