The Framed - Angels and the Knives They Carry (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Framed

Angels and the Knives They Carry (2009)


Back in September, the Framed and Banner Pilot shared a release show at the 7th Street Entry in downtown Minneapolis, as Banner Pilot had just dropped Collapser and the Framed were promoting Angels and the Knives They Carry. In between sets, a small group of friends was gathered outside, remarking on their disbelief that recent Fat Wreck signees Banner Pilot were playing before the Framed, whom they had never before heard. I'm guessing they were out-of-towners, because it seems unlikely that multiple people in the Minneapolis punk scene wouldn't have heard of the Framed, a band that's been building a faithful following for the better part of 10 years, and who are referred to as "the mighty Framed" by Patrick Costello on Dillinger Four's First Avenue Live album.

Angels and the Knives They Carry is a healthy dose of Midwest pop-punk, polished street sonatas, and rock 'n' roll rowdiness. Guitarist Matt Benson has some of the best chops in town, and isn't afraid to show them off on songs like the rip-roaring "Down the Drain" and jagged anthem "Automatic." Vocalist Matt "with the Hat" (due to his reliable stage attire) carries melodic tunes with ease, aping Greg Attonito of the Bouncing Souls a bit (whom the Framed opened for less than a year ago) but crafting one of the album's best sing-alongs in the process on "Running Out of Luck." The 1/6 title track ("Angels") also stands out as one of the disc's best numbers with a catchy riff, strong melodies, and an energetic rhythm, while its follower "The One" starts off nearly identical to "Astro Zombies" but ends up taking a rather different direction. The thankfully un-DMB "Satellite" keeps the energy going while Matt (w/ the hat) attests, "We're a nation that relies on our regrets / In a country that will feed off our mistakes." Closing out the album is the piano-driven "Feel the Same," a warm, layered send-off that wraps up the disc in fine fashion.

Aside from the saucy but perhaps unnecessary cover art, Angels and the Knives They Carry is a solid product of the Minneapolis punk scene. Catchy, thoughtful, and sincere, it's the Framed at their best yet.