The Franklin Cover Up - Commercial (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Franklin Cover Up

Commercial (2007)

Seven Trumpets

You know what bums me out? When I totally agree with a band's ideology but completely hate their music. Such is the case with the Franklin Cover Up and their record Commercial. The music is heavily Botch-related, which is always a plus, and a quick glance at the group's website reveals these guys to be pro-gay marriage, pro-political awareness and anti-child prostitution rings (apparently the group's name is in reference to an underground kiddie prostitution ring that may very well reach all the way to D.C. Allegedly, of course), three views I agree with. And while the group's smashin' and bashin' is pretty top-notch, I have two issues with Commercial that sink the album for me.

First is the vocals. Frontman/guitarist Fernando Pina, in addition to having a sexy name, tends to go from the Botch-esque grizzly bear growl we all love to a more slurred whine. It kills the aggression in his voice. And while I appreciate his attempts at diversifying his vocals, as going guttural all the time can get old, what he's come up with so far tends to sound ridiculous. Lazzarian, even.

My other problem with Commercial is in the lyrics. I agree with almost everything the Franklin Cover Up is saying, but loathe the way the band says it. The album is riddled with the kind of haphazard, mildly impressionistic approach to hardcore lyrics that only works when the singing is so muddled that you can't actually figure out the words. So while "Disco Was All About Coke" denounces kiddie whorin' (yeah man!), the opening lines "When you fuck like a king I hope you feel it inside of me / Cut cut / I hope to God I catch the next bus," have that jarring high-school-poetry-I'm-gonna-be-so-shocking feel. That the best rambling passage comes from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and not from the actual band is disappointing. Although, I gotta say, quality sample.