Nestled in among the oddities, noise freaks, and psychedelic travelers on the Feeding Tube Roster rests a few releases from Frank Hurricane. The persona once held sway over Frank’s duffle-bag beats and scattershot flow, but he’s long since embraced his soulful side, melding rambling folk with a strain of small town Southern spiritual blues. The swap in sound’s done Frank good over the years, but nowhere more so than on his latest LP (splitting release between Feeding Tube and Crash Symbols). Along with a band dubbed The Hurricanes of Love, Frank fleshes out his sound adding in a few more voices to the mix, the occasional parade of horns, and the slow swing of drums behind his marmalade croons. Of course, bare-bones Frank tracks still abound, with Hurricane testifying his own brand of mud-caked gospel over the sunny tangle of strings.
Now at first blush, I might’ve balked on an album that goes so far as to include a Juggalo logo on the front cover. While I’m nestled in the Catskills these days, growing up in Michigan, on the backporch of Juggalo country in the ’90s, that was a totem that could often conjure trouble. However, Frank’s a seer and a singer, a poet laureate of the rusted underbelly of America, rust I often found myself scratched on growing up. He finds transcendence in the asphalt of Tennessee’s most scorched country – giving a reverent Americana profundity to PCP warnings, haunted devil towns, pimpin’, Shrympin (sic), and yeah lonely Juggalos at the local Burger King. Its all spiritual to Frank and he lets it flow through him and sow him like the soil piled behind a local gas station.
With a countenance that recalls Wooden Wand (albeit with a heavier howl) brushing up against Robbie Basho and boiled down in Charlie Patton’s American Gothic updated for 2019, the record is warm and inviting. Frank’s stories are peppered with characters and its clear each one has rubbed off on him and in turn, they likely took a bit of Frank’s hubris with them. This is a record for the porch, the tape deck on the tailgate, or anywhere that the sun can crack in and the mountain air fills the lungs. Damn fine summer songs, and just in time too.