With its explosive, full throttle rock sound, one would never guess that Franky Lee is the product of a drunken scheme. Yet the brutal energy and epic hooks yielded by this unified and muscular duo — which is the brainchild of frontman Mathias Färm and guitarist Magnus HägerÃ¥s — is, in fact, just that.

“It started from the discussions that happen when you hang around with other musicians and get drunk,” laughs Färm, who also doubles as the guitarist in Millencolin. “You know, ‘Hey. We’ve got to play together. We need to do a band.’ Like a lot of musicians and wannabes, I’ve started, like, 25 bands in theory over the years although we’ve never rehearsed or written anything, which is sort of embarrassing. ‘Yeah… I’ll call you.’ But this is that kind of thing in a way, but then we actually came together and it clicked.

Built from the duo’s arsenal of song ideas, which had amassed since the last album(Cutting Edge 2007), the group — who nicked its name from a Bob Dylan obscurity — worked efficiently to put together an unflinching song cycle. “I might have had a riff for a long time that I wanted to turn into a complete song,” Magnus says. “We basically just sat down and said, ‘Let’s make an album.’ We never rehearsed. We just went in and arranged and recorded the music with producer Fredrik Landh. And when we perfected that we stopped.”

The album was recorded at Soundlabstudios and Studio Rymdklang, Örebro Sweden.For the first time the group worked with a producer, Fredrik Landh, who’s also the drummer on the record. Färm recalls: Wow that’s one hell of a drummer, he’s a really awesome and talented guy, helped us out a bunch with arranging and completing the songs!

In an era where everything is hyped to death, it’s hard to believe a rock album can be faultless, but the brutal energy and hooks that embody the exceptionally sturdy set–opener “No Motion” roll onward into the fiery, alluring “Genius And Imagination” and the metallic pop of “The Fall Of The Greatly Misunderstood”. Bringing to mind The Foo Fighters, Samiam, Jimmy Eat World, and stemming from the duo’s devotion to The Afghan Whigs, the roar of Franky Lee’s new album “There Is No Hell Like Other Peoples Happiness” is as majestic as it is melodic.

No mere side project for Färm, Mathias is dead serious about the future of Franky Lee and stoked about getting his rock on. “I love it,” he says. “When you start a band, you don’t have any expectations in a way, because not that many has ever heard you. Of course, people have ideas of how they want it to sound, but it is such a cool thing to make songs the way we feel like because there’s no limit to it.

With hit worthy, pop–driven contagions like the hard rocking “Power Not Truth,” coupled by the insanely catchy run of winners like “A Man Without A Heart,” “Stone Cold Lazy” and “Blinker Beat,” assert that these gents have brought their A–game while branching out past the confines of punk. With nary a clunker in the pack, Franky Lee has the undeniable, punchy fix rock & roll junkies have been longing for.

Just try to resist the charms of Franky Lee. I double–dog dare you!!
Nikola Sarcevic

Nikola Sarcevic