Frank Grimes and the Disasters - Hemlock Alexander EP (Cover Artwork)

Frank Grimes and the Disasters

Hemlock Alexander EP (2017)


So you’ve never heard of Frank Grimes and the Disasters! I’m going to start this review with a sad note, because they’re unfortunately done. They hailed from Barnsley in the UK and called it a day after their debut EP. (further research showed a reunion show, so fingers crossed!)

How did I find this piece of punk ephemera? I’m not gonna lie, I saw a Simpsons reference and checked them out. Sometimes that pays off, sometimes not. (That’s how I found Fallout Boy, back in the day, that’s a good thing debatably)

That said, fans of The Lawrence Arms, The Loved Ones and Alkaline Trio should probably still check out this EP. it’s a cliche to say a band is this meets that and had a baby, but it’s kinda the case here. Lyrics about broken hearts and toxic relationships abound, all set to classic chord progression. That’s not enough to sell it when that description is a dime a dozen, but wait, there’s more! The seller on this EP is Hemlock Alexander, which I swear to god will not leave your head for weeks afterward. Clever AND catchy with a hook that’ll linger long after. I particularly feel like if you’re a cook this will be played on the line all summer. Lyrics like “You say you had your fill of poison wine. Well, people say that to me all the time. So drink up my darling, drink up my darling love of mine” almost scream Andriano, but not in a derogatory way. Heck, I don’t even know if these guys have ever even heard Alkaline Trio. (I’d bet my watch on it though)

I don’t want to sell the rest of the EP short, because the other three tracks are also quite good, just not quite AS good. The opening track “Rotting” brings to mind earlier Green Day in the best possible way. I enjoy the fact that no attempt is made to cover up the accent that Simon clearly has, and the backup vocals compliment quite well, mostly contributed by the drummer, Dan. For any bass players/enthusiasts in the crowd there are some tasty licks here as well supplied by Mr Scott. (I’m a bassist myself, although not nearly as good)

In summation, this is worth your time. I don’t want to oversell, but the fact that these guys never put out a full length is one of my true sads in life. The reunion show gives me some hope that I might get to see what these guys are truly capable of.