Frankie And The Witch Fingers: Data Doom

Frankie and the witch fingers

Frankie and the witch fingersFrankie And The Witch Fingers: Data Doom

(Reverberation Appreciation Society / Greenway)

All formats

Out now


Frankie And The Witch Fingers return with another blast of dense psych, an aural blast to move us to our very bones.


Returning to the scene once again, three years on since the release of their epic Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters… album, Los Angeles’ Frankie And The Witch Fingers serve up another dose of electrifying heavy psych on their new album, Data Doom. Across the album’s nine tracks, they shift and surge through a haze of deep fuzz, rising from a burning inferno to the sulpher-lined clouds above. But all the while they never forget that the trick is in the groove, in the ability to not only rattle our skeletons but make us move and shake with them. Much like their contemporaries, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, they combine styles to great effect.

Opening song, Empire, sets the scene perfectly as they emerge from a blast of dark Sabbath-like aura to a jutting rhythm, drums spitting and sparking a crazed beat that underlines the dust-kicking guitars. Riffs fly out, spinning around the stratosphere, but then they sit back on a groove, the vocals coming together to add a sheen before they fall off a cliff and tumble down into jammed freakout, Dante’s Virgil taking our hand to pull us back down into the depths. It’s a push and pull that continues throughout the album, creating one hell of a ride.

By the time they hit the third track, Electricide, they are a well-oiled psych-rock machine, pummeling us with everything they’ve got on one of the album’s standout tracks. What a riot it is to behold, especially when the fantastic solo kicks in giving way once again to a stuttering rhythm, a break before the chaos continues.

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Tracks like Syster System see them lifting the pedal from the metal to hit a deeper groove, all the while propelled by those fantastic drums that tie everything they do together perfectly. Weird Dog doubles down on their funkier side, complete with sparks of saxophone blasts, while the title track cleans up the palate somewhat, crisper guitars and sweeter vocals clearing the skies to give us a possibility of sun behind the storms. It’s a great break from the density of much of that which precedes it, reinforcing the fact that the band know that an album should be a journey. If ever there was a radio-friendly Frankie hit, this would be it, a crack in the door to let more listeners into their insane world.

Single Futurephobic throws some great proto-punk into the mix, the band pulling apart all their influences to create a different beast, one that stalks a digital dreamworld, pulling all under its spell. By the time they reach the end, on closing song Political Cannabilism, we’re drowning in wah-soaked loops, otherworldly sounds that promise a hope elsewhere. That is where the power of the lyrics and themes lie. Data Doom is an exploration, a critique of what they identify as the masculine energy that permeates not only our physical world but also the digital sphere that now surrounds us, of how a rebalancing would lead to a more positive outcome, of how a shift away from a need for power and dominance would realign the scales with our natural world. It’s a tall order for sure, but if this is the soundtrack, we should all be for it.

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The band have regrouped, reordered and taken their time in the studio to produce the album themselves. New members have injected the band with a new energy, helping them move as one, driven and focused. Data Doom is yet another triumph for Frankie And The Witch Fingers.

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Words by Nathan Whittle. Find his Louder Than War archive here.

Nathan also presents From The Garage on Louder Than War Radio every Tuesday at 8pm. Tune in for an hour of fuzz-crunching garage rock ‘n’ roll and catch up on all shows on the From The Garage Mixcloud playlist.

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