Big Strike in Silver City (Big Snow)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Nov. 20, 2009
Frank SmithBig Strike in Silver City (Big Snow)
Frank Smith – a band, not a man – took the midnight train from Boston to Austin in 2007. Here, on the quartet's first Texas full-length and seventh overall, the band reaps the rewards of its new surroundings. There's a hard edge to much of Silver City: Midtempo opener "Put Me in a Hole" is the warm up, but by "Lets Die Tonight," frontman Aaron Sinclair's ripped open his best Isaac Brock, the music shifting between thoughtful and reckless. "Keep the Money" clenches its fists too, pushing into guitar overdrive in the last couple of minutes. Sinclair's got one of those great been-drinking-since-noon voices that's both menacing and romantic, which works fine with Frank Smith's menacing and romantic songs. Elsewhere, "Leona" and closer "Purple Front Door" mine the country and bluegrass influences added into the fold. The result's nothing new for Austin, but Silver City's a nice chapter to our town's Americana songbook.