Frankie and the Pool Boys are still allowed to be a called a supergroup (because they’re super!), but I think they’re done being a side project. For one, they’re a band now -- a core group of members playing on every song instead of a hodgepodge gang of guest artists. And at three LPs they’re starting to rival or exceed the output of some of the bands their members were known for.
Despite slashing the guest list, this still sounds very much like a Frankie and the Pool Boys album. It’s got plenty of diversity, but also that super light-hearted playful feel that always managed to shine through on previous records. Give “Kill Devil Club” a listen and you’ll hear some jumpy piano that’ll make you wanna juke. And of course the title track features whimsical keyboard and brass that’ll bring a smile to your face (as the title and the cover do).
However, don’t confuse “light-hearted” with laid-back or loungey. “The Wet Season” is a rip & run surf track that’ll please the adrenaline junkies and “Tan Line Fever” is a great trad attempt retaining some of that power and teenage spirit. And there’s a track called “Fast Loud Hard” that manages all of those while still never quite getting mean.
There are four vocal tracks that are genuinely a lot of fun but, knowing their audience, they shoved off into the last four tracks.
It’s hard not to like this album. It’s glowingly happy without overdoing it and sounding like kids’ music and at 20 solid tracks they sure weren't skimpin'. I’ve always thought their name was apt, great pool party stuff and right in time for the summer. Hopefully listeners will benefit from spinning the bottle too.
This is a Double Crown release though also up on bandcamp for the cyber-listener. I really loved this extended liner note PDF that Double Crown has up. Though I absolutely adore this cover art and I think they made the right choice, they passed on two other options that would have still been great!
Also I haven’t written anything up on it because I haven’t gotten around to getting myself a copy, but you oughta know about the 7” Ewa on the Beach/Tan Line Fever that Hi-Tide put out.