Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
A-FRAMES : “CRUTCHES / MEMBRANE / WEISSENSEE” 7”EP….A smoking and very highly recommended way to introduce yourself to Seattle’s teutonic punk kings the A-FRAMES, if you haven’t of course done so already vis-à-vis their two robot-core CDs (“A-Frames” and “A-Frames 2”). This EP might be a little harder to come by, given its release on the French label Royal, but it’s absolutely worth scouring the stacks for. The tracks sound like they may have been recorded live on the radio, given the polite smattering of applause that follows one of the tracks, and an overall you-are-there, no overdub feel to the thing. “Crutches” will be kicking off many a mix CD-R in the months to come – a slashing, crunchtastic riff that just flat-out rules, with stronger, less machine-like vocals that better represent what the singer must actually sound like in real life than his often affected drone-talk. It’s even got something approaching a “harmony” in the form of backing vocals (whatever happened to the girl vocalist they used on the first CD?). And “Weissensee” is a NEU cover, all 7+ minutes of it – lots of feedback, metal-like slow riffage and general clanging. The EP’s packaged in the Dangerhouse style, and in case I haven’t said it before, is fantastic. The A-Frames are starting to really transcend their post-punk obsessed brethren and are creating something that may very well stand on its own in a dozen or two years. Email Royal at and tell ‘em the Shorthand sent ya.