Boston's Francine has both missed and outlasted that part of the '90s in which it would have had thick company on college airwaves. Or at least that's our opinion based on the seven-year-old indie quintet's recently issued set Airshow, which showcases hooks and moods akin to those of bygone slow-core luminaries including Acetone and Idaho (whose excellent records I Guess I Would and Three Sheets To The Wind respectively we have had on opposing sides of a well-loved cassette for more than 10 years). Anyway, those hooks and moods are set off by singer Clayton Scoble's Cobain-esque tenor -- the likeness is particularly evident on the short shot "Wells" -- resulting in an understated and confident rock record that is as listenable as it is anachronistic.
Technically titled album highlight "Zeroes And Ones" is a loungy strummer, not a bleepy Grandaddy-ish rocker that the name might otherwise suggest (coincidentally, Grandaddy is noted as one of the band's influences at its MySpace shack here). Still, there is a subtle, steady undercurrent of electronics at work on Airshow, which in a recent Boston Globe interview the band chalked up to a recent diet of German electronic music. The set was recorded in Francine's practice space, but you'd never know it, as it doesn't exhibit any of the tell-tale symptoms of overzealous rookie production. Rather, the recording regimen seems to have allowed Francine to imbue the music with a characteristic measured delivery. Q Division released Airshow, Francine's third long-player, June 13. The label has posted a couple MP3s, including the aforementioned "Ones And Zeroes" and the particularly Acetone-y yearner "Connectionless," which you can download below.
Francine -- "Ones And Zeroes" -- Airshow
Francine -- "Connectionless" -- Airshow
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[buy Airshow from B&N here]