Every time a Frankie Machine single arrives, I get a rush of excitement only for that to be quashed by pure fear. And the arrival of '54th and 3rd', the third release is no different. Having heard and loved the first two EPs, there does seem no way this new single can live up to my expectations.
Of course, I have been known to be wrong and have no shame in saying so because the man has done it again. Title track '54th and 3rd' is a seemingly effortless tale of lost love ("you left your mark, you left a permanent tattoo, I wonder why the wonder’s gone") building everything up as it repeats. Anyone vaguely emotionally unstable should definitely stay away. A far more simple record than its predecessors, but equally as beautiful. '54th and 3rd' however does appear to lack the humour which usually accompanies the pain which frees Frankie Machine of the pretension that may be expected with the usual acoustic miserablism.
However all is not lost; the humorous element is resurrected in B-Side 'Animated Still' ("If you’re ever dreaming and you get that damp warm feeling, maybe you’ve wet the bed or been dreaming about me again") despite remaining on a similar subject matter to the title track.
The final track 'The Equal and The Opposite Attract' shockingly features an electric guitar! Shocking? Well yes quite frankly seeing as Frankie Machine have always been purveyors of all things acoustic. And I’m not sure it even does this track any favours, as this is defiantly the weakest Frankie Machine track I’ve heard (mainly due to the tremendous quality of the other tracks rather than this here track being horrific to listen to).
On the whole the B-sides lack the cohesiveness and instantaneous quality of either the 'Why Are You?' or 'Cartesian Product' EPs, but all this doesn’t matter in the slightest because the boy done good; here’s a single with more honesty than a world wide lie detector test. No record collection should go without this glorious blue vinyl.
8Sara E's Score