A Frames Black Forest

The latest addition to Sub Pop’s steadily growing roster of vital new acts, A Frames combine a simplistic indie-pop element to growling, shuddering post-punk that churns plucky guitar, pulsing bass and staccato drums with noisy intensity for an effect that lies beaten somewhere between dangerously cute irony and engagingly amateurish ferocity. A Frames’ heavily ironic and observational lyrics are sung-spoken in broken fairy-tale melodies that paint bleak pictures of plodding existence; a grand post-punk tradition in every era that perhaps has only gained relevance over the years. Since most of the songs and noisy interludes dance around the two-minute mark, none of them overstay their welcome, and even though most of their riffs and ideas near excessive familiarity, A Frames have a beefy presence in their performances that injects their anti-tunes with a modern freshness, making Black Forest, their debut for Sub Pop and third album overall, a fun-filled stroll for any fan of trashy post-punk or grimy new-wave. (Sub Pop)