WAKE UP FRANKIE may not be familiar to you, but in the Helsinki metal scene, these groove/thrash metal newcomers have been dominating many stages around the capital (well, before COVID-19 drastically changed our lives, anyway). The band has released a couple of singles, which metal enthusiasts have all been excited about, and they even participated in a competition, Tuska Torstai, which ultimately lead to a concert at the prestigious festival. Founded in 2017 in a bar, with the mission to become the best underground band, WAKE UP FRANKIE are now ready to independently release a brand new EP, “Green is the New Black,” on 7 August 2020.
An atmospheric intro, “Dead Man’s Pass,” opens up the record; there’s a little bit of an Ennio Morricone atmosphere to it due to some elements that are reminiscent of Western movies. The intro ends with an acoustic guitar strumming and in stark contrast, the title track, “Green is the New Black,” starts off with raging, heavy guitar riffs. With a fast tempo, the track continues the bar high for the album as a whole. Many guitar hooks, catchy choruses, and a compelling solo reveal the kind of music we’re settling in for: uncompromising groove metal with a modern and thrash metal edge. The groovy extravaganza continues with “The Outlaw,” with a bit of a slower tempo. This track is a prime example of the excellent musicianship present in WAKE UP FRANKIE, especially clear in the guitar solos towards the end, which also had a little bit of a nod to PANTERA‘s “Walk.” That same nod to Westerns is present as well, leading me to wonder if this might have been a better follow-up for the intro, but on the other hand, it’s nice to have something to fuse these tracks together.
“Ignite” continues in a similar way; this definitely makes an excellent live track as it might entice many metalheads alike to start a vile moshpit. Even though I’m very familiar with CHILDREN OF BODOM‘s work, when “Sixpounder” started playing, for a second, it didn’t occur to me that this song was a cover at first. I did feel a slight CHILDREN OF BODOM and melodic death metal vibe, but it wasn’t until “666” that I realized WAKE UP FRANKIE has covered the legendary track. It really goes to show what this band is capable of – they made the song entirely in their style, which allows you to forget the original. The track never sounded so smashing and is a great addition to the EP. The last track of the album, “Losing Light,” has a more melodic approach, with great harmonies in the vocals and it creates tension with a very rhythmic section midway through, after which heavy chugging guitar riffs introduce the next section. The track feels a bit different and a little bit less aggressive than the previous songs, making it the perfect choice with which to end the album.
“Green is the New Black” is an EP that fans of groove and thrash metal will enjoy to the fullest. The sound of the album has a raw edge to it, which makes it feel as if it was played live, a nice addition in a time when concerts are few and far between. Even though the EP only consists of 6 tracks, it’s extremely varied and there’s a little bit for everyone on there. Not only did this band wake up Frankie, they immediately managed to catch his and everyone else’s attention with their groovy riffs, heavy atmosphere, and subtle sonic references to movies and music.
Written by Laureline Tilkin
- Dead Man’s Pass
- Green is the New Black
- The Outlaw
- Losing Light
Kasperi Meriläinen – laulu
RisOtto – kitara
Vesa-Matti Pääkkönen – kitara
Dimitris Kavvadas – basso
Jari “Jykä” Rantanen – rummut
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