First Listen: “Justine” Liz Frame and the Kickers



What I remember most vividly about the last time I caught Liz Frame and the Kickers was the energy of the group. The way it made me want to dance and move around and not give a shit about who was watching me. This new record has some slightly different moods to it. Don’t get me wrong, its still good, and the Kickers still certainly have some kick. I think it just further displays how the band can work across emotions and can quite be pigeon holed into a particular sonic realm.

The first song on this record has a really moving story to me. A bit introspective, the shake in Frame’s voice make me feel even more attached to the words she is spouting. As much as they rock, there is a large focus on writing good songs in this band.

Look at that pretty tear running down your cheek, don’t make you weak

Just makes you sad

Cause loving me’s got to feel like a losing streak, I’m just a freak

Who don’t know what she had

‘Justine’ has somewhat more somber tones to it. I feel like I am underwater a bit, but not in a “the mix is muffled” kind of a way. In a more floating and daydreaming kind of a way. It is perfect to listen to today as fall slowly creeps in on us and the chill in the air inflicts memories of heavy fall jackets, golden leaves, and sipping Sunday morning coffee looking out over the yellowing grass on a later October day. The follow up track, “I Don’t Want to Let You Go” gives a similar vibe with its layer of vocal inflection and harmonies, very transcendent and atmospheric. They get some great sounds on this record. The end of the track is really moving in the fall out of the music, followed by the fall out of the harmonies, to end up with just Liz Frame’s voice. Memorable.

liz-frameThe closing track has that badass, make me move feeling to it that I remember. “The Secrets I’ve Been Keeping” injects some rock n’ roll in both the electric guitar riffs and Frame’s voice pulling in a bit of that Janis Joplin attitude, while still retaining its beauty.

A short and concise project that showcases a lot of what this band does so well. Rock n’ roll, well written songs, and Frame’s really beautiful, but somewhat edgy, vocal put at the forefront of the songs. I think they got something here. Listen for yourself.