Formed by singer-songwriter Justin Cullen in Co. Wexford and now featuring Dan Comerford on guitar and vocals, Frankenstein Bolts have followed up Cullen’s solo debut effort under the Frankenstein Bolts mantle, “Slow Season” with “Cinematic Views”; a four-track EP.
To call a spade a spade, “Cinematic Views” is a pleasant record. It does not ask complex questions about or offer any insight into the human condition, nor does it break any ground with game-changing sonic experimentation. Instead, “Cinematic Views” is a collection of songs that neatly blends gentle folk with dream pop and synth pop oriented sounds. If you can imagine what the Pet Shop Boys would sound like if they’d based their sound on acoustic guitars and collaborated with Kevin Shields, you probably wouldn’t be far removed from the Frankenstein Bolts sound.
“Cinematic Views” comprises four warm, soft, melodic tracks; beginning with Station Street; a dulcet serving of syrupy, daisy-picking pop music with a devil-may-care nonchalance. Ana Seed by contrast is livelier, sauntering where Station Street wanders, with sun-soaked guitars soaked in digital reverb and tasteful flanging and a catchy singalong hook.
The album’s latter half is where the fun stops, however, both tracks a little more morose and lengthier than what came before; and unfortunately indistinct. The Bay in particular offers little by way of a hook and also displays the weakness of the duo’s at times overly simplistic lyrical style; no more so than in the couplet “well I broke the heart of a girl down there / She cried all month in a rocking chair”. Its wintery tone feels out of place with the beachy, washed out mood of the remainder of the EP.
All in all, though, “Cinematic Views” is a sweet-sounding collection of summery folk-pop songs; suitable earbud music for those long afternoon walks and cycles or as part of the rotation for your barbeque gathering.