Uncle Frank – Fountains
Primary URL: http://www.unclefrankband.com/
The Leicester, UK based five piece band Uncle Frank is self-described as an unit who make music filled to the brim with soul, funk, rage, and love. They first hit the scene in 2015 with their first full length album Maximum Respect and immediately drew attentions thanks to their combination of intelligence, musical skill, and deep feeling. Their latest release is the first single from their soon arriving second album. Love Lion’s opening salvo, a brief track named “Fountains”, is as signature as listeners could ever hope from a modern outfit of this type. They profess a number of influences and the new single clearly takes eighties pop and funk as a reference point for their own artistic excursions in this song. The release is produced by the band’s two primary members Frank Benbini and Naim Cortazzi and it’s apparent that they have a firm idea on how to present the band’s music that is sure to have mass appeal. The work of another renowned producer, Tim Latham, in mixing the track shows that they Uncle Frank has the knowledge and judgment to choose the right collaborators for realizing that musical vision.
It isn’t to say that the other band members aren’t every bit as valuable. Anyone who wonders about their role will have every question in that area answered within the song’s first fifteen seconds. Drummer Junior Benbini and bassist Luke Bryan lay down a deep, hard-hitting groove from the beginning and keyboardist Jay Lynz works around Frank Benbini’s vocals to give the song a much needed melodic edge in counterpoint. The track begins with its nominal chorus, but it continues on through equally entertaining verses and features a number of mini-climaxes that will invigorate the casual and experienced listener alike. The song has a strong ending rather than coming to some abrupt conclusion and it’s obvious throughout how well the band works together. Despite this being a studio recording, they reach for and achieve a gripping live, five-on-the-floor sound that other bands of this type can scarcely touch.
The lyrical content is particularly sharp. It may surprise some listeners that a song of this sort could aspire to the same plain-spoken poetry that their words reach here, but they do and Benbini plays them with just enough passion and verve that they will affect listeners emotionally. Benbini shows off considerable technique, however, by juxtaposing his surprisingly graceful and sensitive vocal against the wall of sound the band conjures behind him. For a first single, this track has such quality that one is tempted to call it a career defining moment to this point. Some bands are so talented that it is virtually impossible, barring tragedy, to see anything on the horizon that might dampen the public’s enthusiasm for their music or else halt their accelerating climb. The first cut from Love Lion, “Fountains”, will get to listeners in their body and in the other place where they live – their hearts.