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A Frames - Black Forest (Cover Artwork)

A Frames

A Frames: Black ForestBlack Forest (2005)
Sub Pop Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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I have a hard time picturing exactly what the Gestapo did in their off time during World War II. I would imagine, however, that they'd enjoy get-togethers pulverizing their kidneys with pint after pint of German lager after a hard day's work serving their fearless leader. Not going to the discothèq.
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I have a hard time picturing exactly what the Gestapo did in their off time during World War II. I would imagine, however, that they'd enjoy get-togethers pulverizing their kidneys with pint after pint of German lager after a hard day's work serving their fearless leader. Not going to the discothèque and rocking out sternly to futuristic beats and harshly spit bits of acidic mind-fucking. But if they were to, Black Forest would probably be the DJ's prime choice of spinning.

Granted, A Frames can and probably will be roughly thrown into the current array of bands itching with fervor for 80's new wave and a possible inclusion of danceable beats, but there's just enough here to help avoid the surefire oncoming indictments of rehashing, as the disc's progression comes to show. Where many of A Frames' peers are simply updating on a single band's style, Black Forest relies on a bout of futuristic beats and Min Yee's tyrannical voice. Yee is emotional, but more in the sense that his delivery is honestly so forthright and contemptible you'd think you accidentally got hold of an updated narrative of Mein Kampf on tape1. Picture this against a dirty low end Death From Above 1979 are probably thumbing-up over and trash can-like taps and you've almost got the right idea.

Though the post-modern new wave approach reminds me a bit of the Network's album, tracks like "Death Train," "Black Forest II," and "Memoranda" take a bit more of a simple approach, musically speaking. Sort of. Each borrows a guitar tone reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand and Modest Mouse's last efforts, but the title track sequel breaks down chanting its song title and thus creates another creepy, familiar mood.

A Frames is just about creative enough to distance themselves from the pack they'll get haphazardly lumped in by a few, but I'm too busy hiding relatives in the attic to notice.

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1 - I'm not at all insinuating any of the band members are actually neo-Nazis; the sound really just more or less gives me this gloomy picture of the era, though.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
InaGreendase (March 25, 2005)

Fair enough.

Anonymous (March 24, 2005)

I don't think you are implying that. (I'm the person who wrote the most recent, rambling commentary). But it looks like some of those *commenting* may be confused about that and/or the A-Frames. Sorry for not being more clear about that.

InaGreendase (March 23, 2005)

Again - I never said the band was conveying the message you think I'm implying. It just sounds like the soundtrack to the doings or message itself. Why is this concept so hard to understand?

Anonymous (March 23, 2005)

For the record, Min isn't the singer, Erin Sullivan is. The A-Frames are way into the Australian band X. They sound a lot more like X than like Modest Mouse or Franz Ferdinand, who they are heavier than, and they don't even sound much like X. They sound like the heavier end of post-punk and owe something to krautrock and industrial, too. Their songs are short, punk, and often funny.

I don't know their political affiliations but it's doubtful that they have nazi sympathies. The apparent theme is new on their third album. On closer listen, the vessel in "U-Boat" is doomed and sinking; the train in "Death train" has no passengers, no engineer, no destination, and is travelling through a desert; "Black Forest" is about the end of the world; and I can hardly make out a word of "Eva Braun."

The A-frames make loud, dark, robot-y music that's surprisingly jocular and fun. But they aren't shock marketers and they don't fetishize fascism or the Third Reich.

Oh, and I see no problem with footnotes. Geez.

Anonymous (March 23, 2005)

i read the first paragraph 47 times. Each time, Al would come through a hologram door, ask ziggy to do some computing, and tell me I had to wake up. After coming out of my trance like state, I would start again, hoping that this would be my last jump, that this would be the last time, and finally, my trip. Home.

But each time it was still female circumcisionally dumb.

Now I'll never leap, and I'll never catch up to my evil leaper, in a way too long multi-part finale involving oswald, and the kennedy assassination where I leap to heaven and get to hang out with So-crates.

wyzo

Anonymous (March 23, 2005)

Hitler was fashioncore. Arm bands boasting hate-propaghanda are sooooooo last year.
P.W. Herman

Anonymous (March 22, 2005)

You bitches need to loosen up and read Time's Arrow. The Holocaust didn't kill Jews; it created them.

-Chinatown

gladimnotemo (March 22, 2005)

If this is the band I think it is....the Neutron Bomb 7" ("Radiation Generation"/"Neutron Bomb"/"Test Tube Baby"), then this is good stuff.

fatfloyd (March 22, 2005)

While I have yet to hear this record, this review is possibly one of the worst I have ever read.

Anchors (March 22, 2005)

Bill Brasky's family crest is a picture of a barracuda eating Neil Armstrong.

To Bill Brasky!

InaGreendase (March 22, 2005)

and for the record, hitler/holocaust/mein kampf barbs might be taken as a bit offensive by readers of the jewish jewish/american persuasion

Hence the footnote. Not to mention I'm Jewish myself.

Anonymous (March 22, 2005)

damn dude. hitler and anne frank in the same review. a history lesson and a shitty review all at once! fine job sir.
-TOBB

ps. footnotes = the new girls jeans on boys.

Anonymous (March 22, 2005)

footnotes in reviews arent necessary. if someone doesnt get your obscure, sarcastic, or witty historical reference they can go and get fucked. and for the record, hitler/holocaust/mein kampf barbs might be taken as a bit offensive by readers of the jewish jewish/american persuasion.
-P.W. Herman

CellarDoor (March 22, 2005)

The introduction ain't "whoa", but the rest of the review seems fair. Kinda makes me want to give this record a try.

Score's for the footnote. I like footnotes. They kinda turn me on.

joeg (March 22, 2005)

score is for the footnote. lameness all the way around.

Anonymous (March 22, 2005)

If you have to justify an opening after your closing its probably not a good one to use. In fact, that is possibly one of the worst analogies ever on this site and only evokes extreme negativity for something with a so-so rating. Try again.

Jesse (March 22, 2005)

Whatever, Nazi.

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