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FRANK’S FISH TANK Muddy Landing gets 7/10

Frank’s Fish Tank
Muddy Landing
Independent

7/10

Fremantle (and Perth) is experiencing a renewed interest in folk music, and we are all the better for it. The real kicker here is that the genre can survive in concrete cities even when the plains and bush seem further away.

Frank’s Fish Tank’s first full release, Muddy Landing, is a romantic, toe-tapping collection of ballads, love songs, and instrumental hoedowns reminiscent of far-flung country towns across Australia.

The group itself is a folk-family dynasty in the making. Francesca Hocking is supported by big sister Rachel (Racoo), who are both related to brother Freddie Hocking (a fixture of the local music scene). Additional support includes Jason Snook (Salary, Racoo, and Galloping Foxleys) and Jesse Woodward.

There’s an honest display here of strength and ability within the folk genre.

The music in this release is simple and drenched with old-folk charm. An acoustic guitar maintains the rhythmic up-and-down pulse, while the banjo rolls along, and the fiddle adds a layer of melody to complement Francesca (Frank’s) tender vocals. Everyone plays to complement each other.

Muddy Landing maintains an upbeat pace even when the songs suggest longing or sadness. It’s a playful album, interspersed with a number of instrumental interludes.

You don’t need big words or complex melodies to tell a moving story or paint a lush picture of the world from your point of view. Frank’s Fish Tank has shown this is possible. Muddy Landing encourages us to seek out the wide-open spaces in our hearts, in our minds, and all around us. The album might even encourage you to pack up the car and take a trip out to the country for a few days to rest and reflect.

KAVI GUPPTA

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