Say What?

Honeycomb (Back Porch)
Frank Black

By Sean Hoban

"So who is this singer songwriter? There's a lot of talent there and I dig his voice."


"I dunno, the guitars are really sparse, rather bluesy, especially that Track 3, `Dark End of the Street' ... It's not Clapton is it?"

"No, man, listen to Track 1, `Selkie Bride.'"

"Nice steel guitar, mixed with electric, - cool! Lyrics: If you return again, I'll be the saddest man. Nicely allegorical, but that doesn't help me much."

"Listen to `Another Velvet Nightmare.'"

"OK, I know it's not the Velvet Underground!"

"No, but you're getting close on the scale of cool."

"Mmm, reminds me of `Where is My Mind,' by the Pixies."

"Bingo, it's Frank Black!"

"But the voice - it's so gruff and growly... but it's getting better as the album goes on. Is this really Frank Black?"

"Sure is; not bad for an old man, huh? But what do you expect from the frontman of one of the best rock bands ever?"

Cough. "Paul McCartney." Cough.

"Good point. Well, this record, while it doesn't really explore anything new, is a quite incredible blend of blues and rock, all the instruments are clear, the lyrics are really poetic. A couple tracks even have the epic scale of `Veloria.'"

"Yeah, too bad it doesn't have the rock 'n' roll of `Here Comes Your Man.'"

"True, but it does have some real country feel, especially that duet with the girl and the title track too. Not twangy, but more Johnny Cash country."

"Almost Simon and Garfunkel as far as words go - I had a castle / I had no hassles / now tears are tassels. Man, `My Life is in Storage' starts out real folky, slows up and then turns bluesy with that two-minute guitar solo. Crazy, man."

"This is the soul of rock 'n' roll, brother, as essential as the Rolling Stones. Put this on and just drive; it's beautiful. Listening to this is like wandering through a museum of music, its just so much developed artistically, like a sculpture of notes."