The story of Frankie & His Fingers shows that even when a door shuts, it’s not always closed forever. Formed in 2004, the band released two albums and built a strong following in New York’s Hudson Valley before breaking up and going separate ways in 2010. Several years after a reunion show in 2013 and with the addition of a new member, the band re-formed and announced a new album Universal Hurt. The album is out March 26 on SubFamily Records.
So far the band has offered “To Die Would Be A Great Adventure” for streaming, a song full of start-stop riffs and vocals that straddles the line between third-wave emo and classic ’90s indie rock. Today we’re premiering the next single from the album, “Just Because You Are, Doesn’t Mean You Have To,” which features similar spunk and energy, but takes a completely different approach to power pop.
Instead of drawing its main influence from The Get Up Kids and Superchunk, Frankie & His Fingers tap the equally revered well of arena-style guitar pop. There are bombastic riffs throughout “Just Because You Are, Doesn’t Mean You Have To,” clearly taking notes from Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy and Big Star. The appeal of the song is not just about the guitar riffs; the songwriting features captivating verses and an emotive chorus that’s meant to be shouted along with throngs of onlookers.
The band was formed by singer and guitarist Frank McGinnis along with Sammi Niss, first as a drum and guitar duo and then bringing on bassist Adam Stoutenburgh. After the 2010 breakup McGinnis shifted focus to “’80s kitsch and folk-rock” in other bands while Niss played drums with groups that include Real Estate and Laura Stevenson. She also has a solo career, releasing music as Hiding Behind Sound. Adam’s brother Ryan Stoutenburgh has also joined the band on lead guitar.
“A slice of riff rock in the Hold Steady mold, with a side of Thin Lizzy,” said McGinnis. “For the past few years, we have been a part of an intensive songwriting group, writing a song a day for five days and submitting a stripped down demo before each midnight. I set out to write this song for a day and suddenly remembered that playing guitar was fun.”
Universal Hurt track list
2. “Gene Kelly & The Truck My Dad Built”
3. “Sad To Let You Down Like This”
4. “The Greatest Hometown Song Ever Written”
5. “Just Because You Are, Doesn’t Mean You Have To”
6. “To Die Would Be A Great Adventure 04:17”
7. “Powerpop Record”
9. “Cake Heart”
10. “There’s A Dragon In That Cave”