Franklin Zoo

Untamed

Written by: BV on 15/01/2014 14:06:53

Way back in 2012 when I was a young and hopeful rookie writer for rockfreaks.net, I came across the debut EP of a band called Franklin Zoo. At the time, I praised it for having a semi-psychedelic 90’s aesthetic to it – coming across like a latter-day Soundgarden coupled with both heavier influences as well as a slightly hallucinatory soundscape. As it turns out, this Soundgarden-esque sound would prove to be something the group would cling to. On “Untamed”, their debut full-length album, the sound leans far more to the murky heaviness of the 90’s than in any other direction they might have leaned before.

On “Overflown”, the first ‘song’ on the album only preceded by an instrumental intro, the soundscape underlines just that statement. The bombastic riff and the ferociously gnarly vocals reek to high heavens of a quite clear, yet not really derivative influence of a variety of different bands, whilst the track also contains an amazingly infectious hook. In this particular genre, one might already be worried when confronted with the length of most of the tracks – but as I make my way through both “Overflown” as well as the coming tracks, it is my general impression that Franklin Zoo’s strong suits are indeed based in two sections; 1) creating an atmosphere, and 2) developing on that atmosphere with a heavily dynamic soundscape that is heavy whilst not too heavy to convincingly slow down the pace and turn down the distortion once in a while.

With “Silent Screams”, the band ventures into what has eventually become my favorite track of the album. The shifting dynamics between the fiercely fast-paced opening riff and the unnervingly groovy verse signify all that I find to be so good about Franklin Zoo – the sheer catchiness of the chorus just adds to it as icing on the cake.

I realize that this might come off as somewhat derivative on the first few listens for some people, but I’d like to think that Franklin Zoo are more than that. In fact, I’d like to think they’ve created a dynamic experience of an album that, although it may not re-invent the genre as a whole, will not exactly subtract from its relevance in these modern days.

Download: Silent Screams, Wolfman, Overflown, Peace of Mind
For the fans of: Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Wolfmother
Listen: Facebook

Release date 20.09.2013
Self-released


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