FRANKENSTEIN V8 - IT'S ALIVE.
Released January 26th 2022 Reviewed by Kate 4th April 2023 Listen to the album here: https://open.spotify.com/album/2kTovQRq6W7HDoK3mmeEEv... Buy the album here: https://www.reverbnation.com/thefrankensteinv8
Frankenstein V8 are - Joe Silver: Guitar/ Vocals Natasha Von Rose: Vocals Victor Venganza: Upright Bass Oriana Moon: Drums
I love a band with a very specific achievement, like learning that the Polecats were featured on the Wall-E soundtrack. Frankenstein V8’s status as ‘the first Venezuelan band with 100% original songs dedicated to the genres of Rockabilly, Psychobilly and Swing (also a bit of Country and Surf)’ is the kind of niche goal that should be celebrated, and they are an absolutely cracking band with just a hint of the craziness you need to add something new to the rockin’ scene. With fans including Darrel Higham and Daniel DeLeon, Frankenstein V8 have reached the final of the all Venezuela Battle of the Bands twice and host the only retro club night in the country. The band’s ‘name is due to the fact that all the members of the band come from varied musical influences that, when put together like pieces, form, as a simile to Mary Shelly's monster, a modern musical Prometheus, and the V8, alluding to the power of these well-known engines.’, so we know from the get go to expect an unexpected spooky, full throttle awesomeness from these guys.
Cinderella - This song answers the question ‘What if the fairytale heroine wanted to be a psychobilly instead of a princess?’, and it does so in big rockin’ style. Fast guitar, pounding slap bass and you’ll be ditching the prince’s ball for the hop.
Belleza en cuatro redas - With a beat this good, who cares if it’s in Spanish? If you’re a fan of Screamers and Sinners but wish they had more hot rod tracks then you’ll be into this one. Natasha’s voice flashes behind like glittery exhaust fumes while this classic rock n roll tune speeds past.
Sangre en el Cromo - Late night summertime popping percussion on this dramatic number about ‘blood on the chrome’ which showcases the harmonies perfectly on the bridge and doesn’t let up for a second, even on the anguished howling fade out.
Halcón Maltés - No mysteries to solve in this ‘Maltese Falcon’, aside from how Frankenstein V8 can make a bass-heavy surfing instrumental so dang catchy, and why they haven’t been booked to play Pineda yet.
Psycho Valentine - One of my favourites on this album because we get a little bit of nastiness creeping in. Frankenstein V8 are big fans of the Cramps (they’ve contributed to a Latin American Cramps tribute album) and the party vibe has shifted to the ‘creepy walk home down the alleyway from the party’. Excellent stalking guitar on this number about eyeball removal and overall, it’s a quality antidote to the rest of the optimism of the album….
Smile - …but then we get ‘Smile’, which is equal parts upbeat danceable tune and manslaughter confession. Don’t let the surface jolliness fool you, this is a band willing to play with the genre with aplomb. Joe’s voice is really versatile and this is another emotional avenue for him to strut his stuff.
Melancholia - A sweet, desert island intro drags us into a deliberately discordant strumming landscape. Comparisons could be made with the Horrorpops (in their sweeter moments), and it’s such a catchy little number.
Viernes-Swing-A-Billy - There’s something really charming about their pronunciation of ‘swing a billy’, and it does exactly what it says on the label : it’s a real swingin’ rockabilly tune to throw your partner around the floor to, with a punkish edge on the guitar to keep us jumping. Crazy - Keeping it light and moody, I love the transition between the faster and more jolly tracks and the darker ones. It’s a teenage anthem in the waiting and must go down so well live.
Mi Novio tiene Angallas - Natasha is back on lead vocals to tell everyone ‘my boyfriend has guts’, and I am fairly sure she means the organs as well as the attitude. It’s really fun for both vocalists to alternate between lead and backing as you get a different impression of the same theme, and the guitar breakdown is seriously punchy.
Let’s Go Down With The Business - “Hi, it’s me again….”croons Joe in a song which is either seductive or about vampires, but that hopping rhythm renders all questions moot as this is an incredibly fun ensemble track where every band member shines.
Fiesta, Licor y Demonios - you’ll be down with a weekend of ‘party, liquor and demons’ when this track hits. Galloping along like a wild horse made for a little light wrecking, it’s all about the pounding bass and the ‘yee-hah!’.
Killer Clowns - Waking up in a horror circus town doesn’t seem so bad with a tune this jolly and positive. The breakdown on the chorus is adorable, as is the tambourine in the background.
Frankenstein V8 bring an original sound and take on the rockin’ end of the psychobilly spectrum, and their freshness is very welcome. They’ve been going for a decade with no sign of slowing down, and here’s to hoping that they bring their jumping rock n roll with dark undertones to this continent very soon.