Frankie & The Heartstrings hail from from Sunderland in England's north east. Since being discovered by the founder of legendary indie label Witchita Recordings, the five-piece's reputation has continued to grow and tours with The Futureheads, Florence & The Machine and The Vaccines have turned them into one of Britain's most talked about bands. Subsequently, Hunger has sold like hot cakes in their homeland and the future certainly seems bright for this likeable bunch of Northerners.
If the idea of yet another new indie hope coming out of England makes you yawn (they do seem to appear every five minutes), then the news that their quiff-sporting frontman goes by the name of Frankie Francis might send an ominous whiff of style over substance up your nostrils. However, Hunger's retro-leaning, jangly guitar-ridden songs of friendship and futile romance certainly do enough to dispel such snobbish preconceptions. And if you want some full-on indie cred brought to the table, then the record was produced by Edwyn Collins.
Because of where it originated, and of who their choice of producer was, reference points to Maximo Park, The Futureheads and Orange Juice might be lazy, but they are also pretty accurate. Here, you'll find intelligent yet emotive lyricism, a penchant for some whoa-ing and simple, short, catchy-as-hell indie aplenty.
While there is nothing especially new going on, its infectious energy and believable romance makes Hunger a success. Basically, it is absolutely 100 per cent as you would imagine a guitar-based record overseen by Edwyn Collins that comes out of the North East of England to sound. And that can't be a bad thing.
Review By Bobby Townsend. It originally appeared in Drum Media