Release Date: Mar 22, 2005
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Cavernous and cacophonous, the A-Frames' third album and Sub Pop debut, Black Forest, delivers more of the trio's theatrically doomy, witty art-punk. The nuclear fallout paranoia and Nazi/Teutonic flirtations on the album hark back to the attempts of '70s and '80s punks to shock the system, and like their forebears, the A-Frames find the fun in death, destruction, and nihilism, albeit with an even more tongue-in-cheek spin. Erin Sullivan's deadpan vocals and snotty lyrics ("One-way mirror on the wall/Who's the loneliest of them all?") aid and abet the band's chugging, clanking mix of guitars, deep, deep bass, and electronics, but underneath the noise and chaos, there are strong, even catchy, songs.
The A Frames have what most every artist is looking for – an immediately recognizable sound. Songs are simple but eccentric. They plod menacingly, driven by loud basslines and deadpan vocals, with jolts of noise punctuating the paranoid lyrics. The themes are dark, and while they never smirk or wink, their technophobia is so persistent that an irony shines through.