The Frankl Project / Black Tie Bombers - Procedural Shortcuts and Operational Failures (Cover Artwork)

The Frankl Project / Black Tie Bombers

Procedural Shortcuts and Operational Failures (2007)


In my hometown of Indianapolis, my friends and I always ask ourselves "why does Cincinnati get to have all the good bands?" Indianapolis has a modest scene with a few good bands, such as Bolth, but the Cincinnati punk scene seems to have a surplus of talent. Two of these talented bands -- the Frankl Project and Black Tie Bombers -- have joined forces to produce a hearty split in an effort to make us even more envious of Cincinnati than ever before.

The album starts out with the first of four acoustic tracks from Frankl, "Dusty Roads." If you enjoy poppier folk-punk then this song will click with you automatically. The next track, however, is the one that could make Frankl the biggest thing in the Midwest since Alkaline Trio. "Black and Blue" is a heavy reggae-hardcore song that invokes the spirit of Eternal Cowboy-era Against Me!, Revolutions Per Minute-era Rise Against, Progress-era RX Bandits and 40 Oz to Freedom-era Sublime. Those are some hefty sounds to live up to, but Frankl does it with ease. The fact that these lads are so incredibly young is simply astonishing. They bring to mind other youthful wunderbands such as Noise Addict or Radish. "Home Tonight" is yet another acoustic track that allows Frankl to flex their lyrical biceps. The rest of the Frankl contribution to the split is phenomenal. "Westward Expansion" and "Dulling the Edge" stand out as rowdy but progressive punk rock anthems and "Life at Sea" is a charming tale of sea-faring love sickness sung with great conviction despite the fact that I'm pretty sure that none of the Frankls have served a tour of duty in the Navy.

Black Tie Bombers contribute some of their softer songs to their half of the album. In fact, almost every song is acoustic. "George Bush Doesn't Care About Kanye West" opens the album with a peppy folk-infused pop-punk head-bobber. The vocals change to a grittier Orgcore style a few tracks in on "Moral Work Artists of America Unite!," which is one of the best BTB contributions. "Banditos" is one of two electric tracks on the album and strikes with the witty venom of a poppier Propagandhi. The album closes with a silly punk rock cover of the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun," which goes over well enough. BTB contributed some solid tunes but they are ultimately overshadowed by the raw power of the Frankl half of the disc (which makes the split seem a bit unbalanced).

Overall, this is a great split that showcases two of Cincinnati's greatest bands in recent history. Sadly, BTB broke up last summer but Matt Hemingway and Jon Lewis have continued on to form the incredible pop-punk act the Dopamines. So not all is lost. Frankl, on the other hand, soldiers on and keeps getting better and better. If you have the opportunity to see them live, I highly recommend going. If not, then this split will suffice.