You know the old cliché that if you don't like the weather, wait an hour and it'll be different? Ron Franklin seems to be applying this thinking to his career in music. After cutting three strong solo albums in which he fused blues, R&B, and singer/songwriter lyrical conceits, Franklin is heading out in a different direction with his band Gasoline Silver. The first track on Gasoline Silver's self-titled debut album, "Indianapolis," is a solid blast of guitar-fueled garage rock energy married to a cranked-up low-tech drum machine and lyrics and vocals that suggest pre-motorcycle-accident Dylan. It's a heady brew, and the album works best when Franklin and his bandmates Andy Hertel and Josh Misner let the guitars and the drums (occasionally real, usually programmed) slug it out as Franklin makes with some articulate snarling; when he reverts back to his acoustic guitarist persona, as on "The Wild Farewell" and "Ron Franklin's Dream," the results are well crafted but not nearly as exciting, and when he tries to fashion his beats into something suited to filling the dancefloor, like "To Electricity" or "Electro Shock Dubliner Blues," he tends to trip himself up a bit. For an artist who worked in more organic musical constructs in the past, Franklin takes to drum boxes and synthesizers with intelligence and confidence, and his talents as a songwriter and vocalists are every bit as evident here as they were on his solo works. Gasoline Silver sounds a bit more like the latest Ron Franklin project than a bona fide band, but if he's clearly the lead man on this album, he's also exploring new avenues and finding some interesting things along the way; it's interesting stuff well worth a listen whether you liked his earlier work or not.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming