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Frank Smith

Before You Were Born

Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Jan. 27, 2012

Frank Smith

Before You Were Born (Big Snow)
Texas Platters

Since transplanting from Boston in 2007, Frank Smith the band has grappled with balancing its Northeastern rock roots with lessons gleaned from Austin's alt.country scene. On two previous local releases, the group attempted, with varying degrees of success, to blend indie elements into its tears-in-my-beer country base. Before You Were Born successfully embraces a chunkiness previously concealed, with opening track "Monsters" almost unrecognizable in its embrace of brooding indie rock theatrics. Not that Frank Smith has dropped its acquired accent. "Homecomin' Hater" drops its G's on the back of lonely steel guitar, while closer "Lovesick Cynics" fuses genre-hopping into an ethereal love song that flawlessly closes the LP. This shift, although drastic, suits Frank Smith's musical sensibilities and leaves the band sounding completely at ease for the first time.

***

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