That Casablancas fella, he gets all the plaudits don’t he. Well not for long if The Strokes second-in-chief Hammond Jr. carries on the way he’s going. Hammond returns here with his fourth solo LP Francis Trouble.
Allegedly this album explores the ingrained effects of the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis. In that context you’d be forgiven for assuming Francis Trouble to be a downbeat and painful listen. Alas, not Hammond Jr’s way of doing things.
Arguably containing more ‘Strokes-like’ cuts than ever before, the energy levels on Francis Trouble are right up there. ‘Far Away Truths’ is a jagged mid-00’s indie monster, and while ‘Muted Beatings’ has the heart, soul and atmosphere of something more significant under the surface, the music still bursts will life and energy.
A record that could be a difficult experience is absolutely anything but. Hammond Jr. has taken a tricky, deeply personal topic and had the magic to turn it into a truly life-affirming piece.
2. Far Away Truths
3. Muted Beatings
4. Set to Attack
5. Tea for Two
6. Stop and Go
8. Rocky’s Late Night
10. Harder, Harder, Harder
Released: March 2018
Cat: RBR0541 / Red Bull Records