The debut by Woodstock-based Frankie and His Fingers sports the stripped-down sound of guitar and drums straddling the lines between twitchy postpunk and pure overdriven powerpop. The Fingers are Frank McGinnis on vocals and guitar (and bass for these recordings) backed by the ferocious pounding of drummer Sammi Niss.
McGinnis builds the tension of the songs by strumming minor chords while Niss kicks her bass drum to nervous stop-starts, before everything breaks into all-out anthemic guitar wailing and chorus singing.
Niss and McGinnis have an obvious chemistry and they pull off the many tempo changes in the songs with a tightness suggesting many hours of honing in the sonic laboratory. Although a decent introduction to the group, One Hell of a Skeleton is far from a perfect release, at least to those who prefer a little grit on their ramalama guitar sound. The production is a little too crisp and clean, taking a considerable amount of heat off Frankie’s guitars. The vocals veer a little too much toward the theatrical, with a touch of overenunciation.
The best track on the six-song disc is the closer, “Shoes,” which begins with a funky beat, over which McGinnis spits out couplets in an unaffected manner until his guitar threatens to break out of the song’s constraints. This reviewer would encourage Frankie and his Fingers (now a trio after adding a permanent bassist) to stretch the boundaries of their cleaned-up emo/punk-pop template by adding a little grime. www.myspace.com/frankieandhisfingers.