Rob Frank - 'Blame'
Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff
Originally from Sudbury Ontario and currently residing in Ottawa, Rob Frank is a singer-songwriter who performs as a solo artist and as a member of the Elegant Devils. While his music is rooted in rock, Rob pulls from a variety of different styles to create a sound that is unique and authentic. His debut single, "Blame", off his first LP Keep On Keepin' On, is great way to get acquainted with Rob's talent and diverse style.
"Blame" opens with a full sound of thick and crunchy chords on the electric guitar. Playing a syncopated rhythm along with upbeat rock percussion, the two instruments play a stop and go pattern, building up the tension to the first verse. Rob enters singing, "Sometimes I never wanna feel / The warmth of the sun again / Sometimes I never wanna feel / The warmth of it's touch again." Robs vocal performance and timbre fit the song like a glove. His singing is articulate and his tone is clear which allows his vocals to sit very nicely above the thick mix.
As the song moves forward, towards the chorus, the guitar patterns change-up driving the rhythm over eight bar phrases with a strong emphasis on the downbeat. The drums get heavier as well, showcasing crisp riffs and rapid thunder rolls. The second chorus is followed by a melodic guitar solo, displaying smooth chops and nimble finger work. The solo cuts through by accessing the instruments upper crying register. The song's overall vibe has an interesting mix of old-school rock and roll nostalgia mixed with a touch of punk rock. The energy is vibrant and the sound is large. This is a song you can move to.
The chorus of "Blame" is highly memorable. Writing a strong hook, Rob sings:
I never meant to bring you down I never meant to make you frown I never meant to shut you out So I guess I can not blame you
"Blame" is an introspective and honest song that recognizes the toll that depression can take. The song brilliantly describes the inertia that depression causes. "Call it lazy call it what ever the hell you want / Me I call it just enough of a reason for me to get up." From the start, the lyrics talk about a numbing from the pain and that sometimes just getting up for the day is a major accomplishment. Even though the lyrics sound heavy, the music never allows the song to wallow it. Instead the music, sending a clear message, keeps driving forward with an energy that never gives up.
In "Blame" Rob Frank displays a bold and raw honesty with lyrics that show emotional intelligence set to energetic, guitar and drum driven music that can easily help you shake off the "blame." As the music drives forward, seeping into your body and mind, listeners will get the sense that there's a reason to wake up in the morning, shake off the inertia, and feel the rock and roll move lift your spirits. "Blame" is a song to splash on your face. Crank up the volume and enjoy.