Vanilla Franco – ‘Traction’

Suffolk-based artist Vanilla Franco delivers an ardent rock infectiousness throughout their debut album Traction. The project represents the music of Joey Quinn, who initially formed Vanilla Franco as an inside joke — going as far to accidentally book a gig. Friends were gathered to piece together a lineup, and the show went on — and was a success. Thus, Vanilla Franco was born, and with a memorable debut album in Traction.

“Building Pressure” opens the album with immediate invigoration. Pounding guitar clangs and a punk-friendly vocal vigor lead an infectious dose of heavy energy. The ensuing “Picnic” delivers a similarly compelling charisma, with the grimy guitar distortion and debonair no-frills vocals reminding fondly of Blur’s heavier material. “Good Time” follows with lyrical aims of “still have a good time,” revelry amidst crunchy guitars; a hypnotic guitar effect lingers with immersive impact approaching the second minute. The album kicks off with delectably raucous, hooky rock appeal on these three tracks.

Exceptional guitar work stirs on “James Bond,” exuding an aptly suave demeanor as the yelping vocal enthusiasm fades into the stylishly debonair guitars. Parts spy-theme and surf-y feelings, the effort excels with its production and compelling soundscape. “Learn Something” concludes the release with satiating effect. Thumping bass and concise guitar spurts conjure a nostalgic art-punk demeanor reminiscent of Wire; the steady rhythmic pulse and contagious vocal delivery put a bow on this standout album from Vanilla Franco.

Look for the project’s next output — an EP entitled Walden — out on March 30th.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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