Add another "-wave" to the indie rock scorecard, courtesy of this Reagan-era post-punk-emulating duo.
As if there weren't enough "-waves" (chillwave, coldwave, uh, Wavves) to keep track of on the indie rock scorecard these days, we now have to add The Brutal Wave, the debut album from post-punk duo Frank (Just Frank). With their straight-outta-'83 haircuts, drum machines and lush synths, the band -- American Chris (aka "Anthem") and French Kirti (aka "KD") -- captures the sweeping sound and soaring emotions of Reagan-era post-punk. While they sometimes labor to escape the sum of their early R.E.M./Siouxsie/Smiths/Cure influences, they do have a way with imagery: the ethereal "Die in Bed" almost literally washes over the listener, as the song floats over the sound of crashing waves. Damned if you can't see neon lights through a rain-dappled windshield on the urgent, thrumming "Ride of a Lifetime" ("The road is soaked with liquor / And we're riding with nocturnal drunken delight"). Plus, four of the songs are in French, so they know their ennui. Frank (Just Frank) are far from reinventing the wheel, but their revisiting of a still-popular genre will be welcome to anyone who wore out their dubbed cassette copies of Juju, Vienna and Meat is Murder.