FRANKIE MCQUEEN

Frankie McQueen Nightride EP

NIGHTRIDE EP, SELF-RELEASED

FMQ’s hard-hitting heavy blues nicks a comfortable vein. The Calgary act’s live shows are always something people look forward to, the whole band is really handsome and they record really, really well. Nightride captures and displays all of these facets, plus a few other, unexpected ones.

“Mama Told Me” starts things off with a classic tale of forbidden love, a gritty shuffle with a killer guitar solo. It sounds fantastic, neither sterile nor sludgy, and you can immediately calculate the energy this song would produce in a crowded bar. “Do You Think I’m Ready” and “Nightmare” veer nearer to classic rock, not like the FM radio stuff, but like some B-side that your parents didn’t much care for. But then you’ll hear “What I’ve Become,” a surprisingly clean and personal track that’s downright unexpected after the fizzy get-down in “No, It’s a Cardigan.” “Take Me Home” ends the album on a more familiar note, leaving the listener feeling as though his or her time has been spent meaningfully.

Again, the production throughout is top-notch. Too many bands get lost in their translation to tape — you buy the record after a fantastic show, put it on the next day, shrug your shoulders and alphabetize it and move on. Nightride won’t be one of those records. Don’t miss it.

By John Julius

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