First off, Hollywood’s Frankie + The Studs rock like hell. But you can sing along while you jack your fist into the air. They’re a mix of dirty converse, and messy black hair, slender hips and big kohl eyes, sexual tension and youthful verve, and you can tell their record collections are crammed with ’70s pop and glam, like Joan Jett, T. Rex and Bowie. But theirs ain’t no backward-gazing karaoke, and it’s not HBO’s Vinyl, either. No way. This spanking new Hollywood, Califa. quartet plays impassioned rock ’n’ roll music—the essential kind that can only be made by kids who use power-chord shout-outs and spiky lullabies to define their nighttime worlds and busted hearts.
Frontwoman Frankie Clarke glitters, to be sure. She’s slinky and lithesome in black, a rebel with rock-star blood rushing in her veins. In this media-stupefied culture, Frankie comes off beautifully backdated, shouting, singing with true conviction, one that can easily put the butterflies in stomachs of both boys and girls. Lord she’s killer with that Joe Strummer Tele.
Frankie’s backed by a heady arsenal of punk-glam firepower: Aussie youngster Ronnie Simmons rages his low-slung Les Paul through Marshall stacks, and already has a pedigree, having toured with several rock bands across the globe. Bassist Johnny Martin is dead-ringer for Dee Dee Ramone circa ’77, only prettier. Sensational skinsman Matt Lucich sports lots of country, rock and hip-hop credits, as any drummer worth their salt should. Frankie + The Studs will either be the saviors of rock ’n’ roll for a whole new generation of kids ready to smash culture to bits, or they’ll crash and flame out like The New York Dolls. No middle ground here, folks. But that’s rock ’n’ roll, how it was meant to be. Look for their killer debut EP to drop this summer.