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Frank Love pushes female-fronted punk in loud new directions

Thursday 12th, January 2017 / 14:20
By Prachi Kamble

VANCOUVER — Frank Love makes soul punk. Their punk is hardcore but it also has some serious dance issues. “Aside from punk, soul, and lately opera,” explains lead singer, P. Minnou, “we borrow from soft, weird, indie stuff, as well as from hip-hop and angsty pop.” Three years ago, Frank Love’s members, a mix of punk veterans and band newbies, came together to get the aggressions of their daily lives out via music. Now they find themselves confronted with a pleasantly reinvigorated intent for musical creation.

The band released Hot Garbage with Owen Reimer in 2015, and Strange Attitude with the legendary Jordan Koop in early 2016. A fall trip to Koop’s studio on Gabriola Island, later in 2016, yielded a brand new album that led Frank Love into uncharted territories. Koop directed the structure and melody on many of the songs. “[Koop] gives you freedom yet maintains the timeline,” says Minnou. “He provides critique yet remains neutral, and respects your process while respecting his own. It’s not as easy as it sounds!” The album touches on fresh and important themes. “We have one song called ‘Dirty Water’ which is about how many First Nations reserves don’t have access to drinking water,” she reveals. “We also have a song called ‘Dark Lipstick’ which is about loneliness and lust while ‘Group Therapy’ typifies our band. It talks about how music can be soothing in sorting out the paradoxes of life.” Another intriguing form of experimentation on the album is that of singing in a made-up language. Minnou laughs off this not-for-the-creatively-squeamish endeavour with modesty, “you don’t have to think of the words, which is an added bonus!” she says. “You are free to focus only on the melody which takes you to unexpected places, creatively. They say that praying in ‘tongues’ takes Catholic priests closer to God. I can’t say I was closer to God but it sure took me somewhere!”

Frank Love has created quite the reputation for themselves in the local, live punk circuit, steadily winning over fans with powerful shows at the Railway Club, the Waldorf, Lana Lou’s, and The Rickshaw. The band members’ interpersonal relationships create a net of unshakeable trust that allows them to bare their souls on stage. Half the band being female is a refreshing pull, as is expected, but add to that Minnou’s on-stage, alter ego and you start to grab attention fast. Minnou sings many of her songs in a man’s shirt and a buxom, old man beard, when she dons this enigmatic persona. “My partner and I thought we couldn’t possibly be a couple in a band together, so we decided I would be this man named Baus Rod. I took it pretty seriously in the beginning but now I think I can gain more from being myself.” With Baus Rod, Frank Love takes challenging the gender roles in punk, one-step raucously too far.

Don’t miss Frank Love’s scrumptious punk spread on 2017’s first Friday the 13th, at the Rickshaw Theatre.

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