The music business is a funny old chestnut; it builds a band up, only to revel in the prospect of crushing them again with hype used as a weapon to dismiss a group as too narrow, and predictable. Frankie & The Heartstrings are one such band; as ubiquitous 'ones to watch' throughout 2010, they have been smart in their progress, building a reputation and fan base through their raucous live shows whilst patiently waiting to release Hunger, their maiden LP. Produced by the legendary Edwyn Collins, and released on their own label Pop Sex Ltd. after the label vultures were circling, Frankie et al have shown a maturity and responsibility not normally associated with acts of their stature, and it is definitely worth the wait. Comparisons to fellow mackems The Futureheads are very easy, with the proud accents that have come to characterise both bands a clear point of correlation, but it doesn't go much further; Hunger is less frenetic, a more considered sound. Perfectly encapsulating the excitement surrounding their rapid rise, this album defines the literacy and passion that has come to epitomize their perfectly crafted Northern-pop.

Don't get me wrong, it's a simple sound, but it works brilliantly on record here, with Frankie Francis' vocals leading refrains you'll be singing for weeks to come. Opener 'Photograph' is a fantastic jaunt back to an early 70's rockabilly, with the title track the standout from the half hour record; 'Hunger' is the definition of a great indie pop song. Opening with the impossibly easy, yet necessary 'oh oh oh oh oh' chorus, this is far from being rocket science, but more often than not it is the simple songs which are the best. Whilst the production has emphasised the vocals and guitars, threatening to overshadow the depth of the bands live sound, it is massively appropriate here. It may be fair to suggest that Frankie & The Heartstrings rise has been aided by the influx of dance based music into the alternative consciousness- it currently seems easier to launch a guitar career than it may have done five years ago thanks to the sheer dearth of realistic options - they would succeed whenever they chose to release the album; it is a realistic appraisal of their talents, and is written with no more motivation than to entertain and be enjoyed. Whilst arguably a narrow sound, there is no pretension or bullshit, this is simply an album to sing along to.

Previous single 'Ungrateful' is a strange choice, in that it seems to be one of the weaker tracks from the album, lacking any real cohesion. However, the reworked 'Possibilities' is a winner, with the recurring brass element throughout the album gives an added edge. Once you've heard a couple of tracks, you know what to expect from the record, and it begins to sound a little tired after twenty five minutes with 'Want You Back' and 'Don't Look Surprised' seemingly just tacked on as an afterthought, but by then it's too late; you've fallen in love with the band.

This is not a ground breaking album, it is a fun and catchy record that celebrates its own good nature with singalong choruses and passionate refrains. It won't win any awards for originality, but it works brilliantly from its accessible, agreeable perspective of contemporary indie-pop. This album has a longevity, and a fresh sound through its simplicity; very much a rainy day record. It is a strong, positive debut, and marks a firm two finger salute to the critics hoping for them to fail. They're going have to wait a lot longer if Frankie & The Heartstrings' future is as bright as Hunger.

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