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FRAME OF MIND

Frame

 

Heavy Prog

3.13 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Frame is a very little known (unfortunately!) German band which recorded one but highly enjoyable art rock/heavy prog gem called "Frame of Mind" in golden year of ambitious music - 1972. When you hear "German music from 70s" you probably immediately think about some crazy psychedelic Krautrock but it's not a case here at all. Frame played very British style of early prog a la Cressida, Still Life, Beggar's Opera, Quatermass, Rare Bird, Spring, Aardvark or Frame but with slightly heavier arrangements due to more aggressive guitar presence. However just like their British fellows, Hammond organ is a main attraction on "Frame of Mind". In general if you like such English-sounding German groups like Birth Control, Frumpy, 2066 & Then, Virus, Amos Key or Tyburn Tall, you'll love Frame!

Let's check songs on their only album "Frame of Mind":

1. "Frame of Mind" - I truly adore how this album begins. Very relaxed and refreshing verses "Hot summer day, lazy by the river, Time's going by..." which truly remind me about nice warm summer during these winter days... All this song is truly magnificent for me, sometimes nostalgic sometimes more energetic but always very melodic and "catchy". Melancholic organ lines are leading the song from the beginning but in the end we can also listen to fantastic, more speedy organ/guitar solos. Whole song sounds like taken from some long lost Cressida's album but the last 2 minutes remind me of Atomic Rooster's staff. Brilliant!

2. "Crucial Scene" - similar song to the previous one but a bit harder with more elaborated electric guitar soloing and more brutal organ riffs. Vocals (shared by 3 members of the band but the lead one is Dieter Becker) are great as usual and don't bear any burden of German accent. Two slightly bluesy Hammond solos are splendid here. Another perfect track!

3. "All I Really Want Explain" - my favorite composition on the album is an eleven minutes mini-epic characterized by very beautiful, nostalgic vocals, rhythmic acoustic guitar tones and omnipresent almost churchy sounding organs. Shades of Cressida are very clear here again, but I don't mind 'cos I really love such kind of melodic prog. About 5th minute Andy Kirnberger presents us some bluesy guitar solo which is followed by even better and much longer psychedelic Hammond organ one. I could almost swear that it's Jean Jacques Kravetz from "Frumpy" behind the instrument there! In the second part of the song tempo changes to something more jazzy and Cherry Hochdorfer plays some tasty piano then.

4. "If" - this one is a bit more straightforward hard rock song with heavy guitar riffing but also enough organ chops to keep everybody happy. Besides very long and Emerson-like wild Hammond organ solo in the middle won't let you forget that it's a truly classic prog-rock record. In general it can be Frame's answer for many heavy-prog songs of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep.

5. "Winter" - very nice a bit folky ballad with rich layers of organ, lead acoustic guitar lines and occasional background mellotron fills. Vocal sounds passionate and emotional so the main purpose of ballad was fulfilled. Classical sounding middle part with overwhelming organ passages.

6. "Penny for an Old Guy" - it's a very weird song which sounds a bit disjointed. 1st minute is a straightforward hard rock with simplistic guitar riffs and rather awful vocals. After that music suddenly slows down and can listen to some psychedelic, mellow section with repetitive acoustic guitar tones and thrilling, dark lyrics. After awhile Hochdorfer plays some joyful melody on spinet (like harpsichord or clavinet). In the end band comes back to generic hard rock from the beginning of the song. All of this within only 3 minutes and 10 seconds!

7. "Children's Freedom" - truly magnificent folk-like song based upon energetic acoustic guitar and surprisingly loud, but very melodic guitar lines. In the background we can hear some distorted organ layers and everything is closed with catharsis inducting electric guitar solo. But the most important are vocals: emotional, melodic and truly memorable. What a shame that it's only 2 and half minute long!

8. "Truebsal" - anthem-like (real German anthem? I don't know...Maybe...) melody played 15 seconds on mellotron. A bit strange thing to close so good album, but maybe they just bought this great instrument and they wanted to show its "full glory"? Anyway few seconds of mellotron torturing wasn't a really good idea. Sounds too noisy...

Overall "Frame of Mind" is a hidden gem of magnificent prog music from musically great 70s era. If you love organ-driven progressive rock with bluesy influences and folkish acoustic guitars, Frame is a band created just for you. I've already mentioned what British and German bands you should also check along with this one, so I can only add here that you can find similar kind of music in material recorded by American band "Gypsy" and "Think" from New Zealand.

P.S It can also be interesting for you to know that Andy Kirnberger was the guitarist on Pell Mell's debut album "Marburg" which was recorded the same year and later he sang, played guitar and piano on eponymous album of heavy prog band Hardcake Special (from 1974). While Cherry Hochdorfer (keyboards) & Wolfgang Claus (drums) played later on Pell Mell's 4th album "Only a Star" from 1978.

I know that other reviewers didn't like this album so much, but I can assure you that for me it's worth full 5 stars 'cos it's a shining diamond of 70s art/prog rock.

ozzy_tom | 5/5 |

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