The Frankl Project
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The Frankl Project

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
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The Frankl Project- Friday, March 23 at 8:45 p.m.- Presenting an amazing blend of punk, reggae, ska and a little bit of everything else, the Frankl Project can please almost crowd. This band shows amazing talent, especially for being one of the younger acts on this year's festival. Make sure you get a chance to see them out while you have a chance.. Check out a sample of their music at www.myspace.com/thefranklproject. - The Northerner


My love affair with The Frankl Project has been a long one, beginning at the time when I started getting into the local punk scene. I started out with more accessible bands like Blink 182 and moved on to more underground bands like Rise Against and Against Me! (At least at the time they were). Then I was introduced to the local ska scene at my high school through an old friend from elementary school and began listening to bands like The Pinstripes and my personal favorite: The Prairie Dog Gangsters. I would see these bands at the Bogart’s High School Band Challenge and was content with it. When I learned the 1st Ska Fest was being put on by my friends in The Pinstripes, I was excited. I could see my favorite bands in an intimate setting with all my friends and it would cost marginally less than the removed Bogart’s shows. The show was at the Viper Room (now known as the Poison Room) and featured PDG and the Pinstripes, a more annoying earlier incarnation of Forest Fire, and the Frank Project. I stuck around through Elbowdrop’s final set, circle pitted and skanked during PDG’s and The Pinstripes’ sets and had a ball. Frankl Project was the last band playing, and I remember maybe 90% of the kids at the show leaving right after the Pinstripes set ended. It was me my brother, and a handful of other people. Sitting there that night taking in the Frankl Project changed my life. Their set was inventive, the music was fast and unrepetetive and it wasn’t ska, it was: punk with flavor. They also add a style that seems to be more associated with potheads and Bob Marley: reggae. They mix the reggae into the ska and punk formula and produce great results by adding the upstroke that is more chill and pretty than the banal tone of ska guitars.

At the beginning of this year, I finally bought the Cost of War EP, intrigued by the 3 songs I had downloaded on the internet and the prospects of a concept album made by a local band that I admired. When I listened to it, I was floored by how good it sounded; considering that they were a young band when they recorded it. The story goes as this (in the band’s own words):

“A story of an individual fed up with his life and the world around him. In hopes of making a change he decides to leave his home and make a new life. But due to the economic situation he must resort to life on the streets. Desperate, poor, and hungry he has no choice but to join the army, where he fights and dies for a cause that he doesn’t believe in . With no parade to celebrate his homecoming, the Unknown Soldier dies without a name, just another casualty, catalogued and forgotten… ”

The trio start the CD with "American Idle", loaded with ska upstrokes and great lyrics: “And tonight I’ll be dancing on your grave, if I wasn’t already rolling in mine!” This song is as far as the band dabbles into the ska genre, which is good because it helps the album to smoothly transition into their next song.

"Tides of Change" begins with a clean upstroke chord progression and the song runs on its way to the climax where lead singer/guitarist Jake Tippey cries: “Tides of change, blow in with the rain but we can’t see them cause we’re swept under the waves, beached on shore like drunken whales, whith our blubber and we sail on through life like nothing is wrong, then we put it in a song”.

"Home Tonight" tells the sad story of the homeless phase of the characters life as he sits on a street corner and questions life itself. Jake’s voice on this song epitomizes the Frankl Project as he melds a more melodic version of Greg Graffin with the passion of Tom Gabel. This song is one of my favorites on the CD and reminds me of why I got into TFP in the first place.

"Elmer Fitzgerald" begins like an At the Drive In song, with a technical drum beat that fits perfectly into the mix ala drummer Joe Frankl. The song details the change in lifestyle of the character and has a beautiful guitar part accented by a grooving bass, which helps makes this song stand out.

"Soapbox Soldier" is about the death of the soldier and how his final moments transpire: “Soapbox soldier drop your gun and come into the light, choirs of angels call your name but they don’t ask you to fight!” Probably the best song on the album.

The album's title track, "Cost of War", bears strong resemblance to the begging drum beats of almost any Anti Flag song and is consequently the album’s most punk rock song, as it is distorted the entire length of the song. A catchy chorus that is easy to remember makes it an awesome live song as well.

"Cost of War" flows into "One Last Parade" with the sound of raindrops and the explosion of rockets. The song's slow and mournful tone mellows down the album in accordance to the story and is a social critique that is similar to the points that Modern Life is War makes on "Witness". The song reaches its crescendo as the gang mourns the death of the Unknown Soldier and ends the story’s last chapter.

In searching for - Punknews.org


Hailing from Newport, Kentucky. This unlikely (coming from Kentucky that is) trio is a blend of emo-esque punk and reggae, much akin to parts of old Police and old Rudiments. “Cost of War”, while not necessarily breaking any new ground, certainly breaks ground for what I’ll term as the blatantly “Red” states of the “middle south”. “Cost of War” is an epic of sorts, covering a story of struggle and compromise and being led to make decisions that don’t necessarily follow along with beliefs. Musically, as aforementioned, it is a nicely executed melding of punk/reggae. None of the songs are overtly long, nor inexplicably concise. The CD also is nicely produced, achieving a good balance between instruments and vocals. I should point out that co-vocalist and band namesake Joe Frankl is also the drummer ala The Dave Clark 5 or the Romantics. The lineup is completed with Jake Tippey on Guitar/Lead Vocals and Paul Schrodinger on Bass/Vocals. The median tempo of this release is infact median, nothing too fast, nothing too slow. Over all, “Cost of War” is a compelling 7 tracks of Kentucky rock. - upstarter.com


This might be the surprise local recording of the year. I wasn't expecting much from a band of under-18-year-olds that plays ska/punk/reggae, but damn. Great distinct lead vocals - reminiscent at times of The Specials. The band shines most when they are playing the funkier parts (the ska and reggae), but the distorted parts are decent as well, just less unique. The lyrics are clearly along the "socially-conscious" lines, and although they're not great, some good principles are there, and I'm sure the lyrics will improve as the band grows. The recording is decent, I hear the band is good live, and it's definitely worth picking up this 7-song CD. [review by Droopy Dog]

Recommended If You Like: Madness, The Selecter, The Toasters, The Hippos - cincinnatishows.com


Discography

Cost of War (2004)
Pirate Radio EP (2006)
Procedural Shortcuts & Operational Failures (2007)

"Pirate Radio", the title track from our 2006 release, has received airplay on Infinity Broadcasting's 97.3 WAQZ Cincinnati and on 88.3 WAIF.

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Bio

"In searching for a phrase to describe The Frankl Project one comes to mind: GOING PLACES!"- cincypunk.org

Since the release of their first EP in 2004, The Frankl Project have:

Played hundreds of shows regionally
Won the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best punk act
Released two (Soon to be three!) self-produced records
Toured the midwest in 2006 and the east coast in 2008

We have shared the stage with:

Bottom Line (Maverick Records), The Bouncing Souls, The Dead Milkmen, Defiance, Ohio (No Idea Records), David Dondero, Go Betty Go (Side One Dummy), Harry and the Potters, J Page (Nice Guy Records), The Lawrence Arms, Left Alone (Hellcat Records), Los Gatos Negros (plan-it-x), The Misfits, Mustard Plug (Hopeless), Much The Same (A-F Records), No Trigger (Nitro Records), The Phenomenauts (Springman), Ryans Hope (Punk News Records), Seepeoples, The Toasters, and Westbound Train (Hellcat Records).