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Frankie And The Witch Fingers Are Anything But ‘Mild’ On New Album

High-energy L.A. rock outfit's 'Data Doom' will be out on Sept. 1
Photo: James Duran

Bolstered by the pandemic-era additions of bassist Nikki “Pickle” Smith and drummer Nick Aguilar, Los Angeles-by-way-of-Indiana rock outfit Frankie and the Witch Fingers come storming back on their new album, Data Doom, which will be released Sept. 1 through the Reverberation Appreciation Society and Greenway Records.

The nine-track project was recorded at the band’s L.A. practice space and is led by the single “Mild Davis,” a fusion of grit-encrusted guitars and icy synths set to an odd 7/4 time signature. “That song pretty much sums up the energy of the entire record,” Aguilar tells SPIN. “That’s why we felt it would be the most appropriate one to be the lead single.” Adds vocalist/guitarist Dylan Sizemore, “It’s very different from anything we’ve done in the past. We wanted the first statement from the album to be something new and fresh.”

Since Sizemore and guitarist Josh Menashe formed Frankie and the Witch Fingers as a house party band in Bloomington, Ind., in 2013, the quartet has gradually become a heavy hitter in underground rock, punk, and psychedelic circles. Their fall tour in support of Data Doom will visit some of their biggest venues yet, including the 600-capacity First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia and the 1,000-capacity Warsaw in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Art is always a backlash to itself,” Smith says when asked if perhaps younger listeners may be gravitating back to rock’n’roll at a time when pop music feels more sleek and clean than ever. “Everything always goes in cycles, but I feel like people who come see our shows are rowdy as hell. They’re happy to be there. They’re really engaged in what’s happening, so I don’t think rock’n’roll has gone anywhere.”

Data Doom, which can be pre-ordered here, finds Frankie and the Witch Fingers incorporating everything from conga-flecked Afrobeat (“Doom Boom”) to horn-fueled rave-ups (“Burn Me Down,” “Weird Dog”) and propulsive, Devo-style synth-rock (“Futurephobic”). Sizemore credits this newly eclectic sound to the arrival of Smith and Aguilar, two fellow music nerds who came to Frankie and the Witch Fingers from Death Valley Girls and Mike Watt, respectively.

“We’ve got these hidden talents within the band, and we don’t always get to explore them,” Sizemore says. “Because we had so much time in the studio and we had these things lying around, it was really easy to be, like, oh, we need a texture here. Maybe try that? Or, bring in the congas today. It all felt very spontaneous but at the same time, it’s inside everyone to be able to do that.”

Frankie and the Witch Fingers are playing clubs and festivals in Europe all summer. The Data Doom tour begins Sept. 9 in Las Vegas and will wrap Nov. 4 in San Luis Obispo, Ca.

Here is the track list for Data Doom:

Burn Me Down
Syster System
Weird Dog
Doom Boom
Mild Davis
Political Cannibalism

Here are Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ tour dates:

Sept. 9 – The Usual Place – Las Vegas, NV **
Sept. 10 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ **
Sept. 11 – Love Buzz – El Paso, TX **
Sept. 14 – Parish – Austin, TX **
Sept. 15 – Andy’s Bar – Denton, TX **
Sept. 16 – Continental Club – Houston, TX **
Sept. 17 – Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, LA **
Sept. 19 – JJs Bohemia – Chattanooga, TN
Sept. 20 – The Blue Room – Nashville, TN #
Sept. 21 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA #
Sept. 22 – Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC #
Sept. 23 – Pour House – Charleston, SC #
Sept. 25 – Black Cat – Washington, DC #
Sept. 26 – Crystal Ballroom – Somerville, MA ~
Sept. 27 – Sala Rossa – Montreal, QC ~
Sept. 28 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT ~
Sept. 29 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA ~
Sept. 30 – Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY ~
Oct. 2 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH #
Oct. 3 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL #
Oct. 4 – Miramar Theatre – Milwaukee, WI #
Oct. 6 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO #
Oct. 7 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO #
Oct. 8 – Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM #
Oct. 27 – Quartyard – San Diego, CA @
Oct. 28 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA@ **
Oct. 29 – Rickshaw Stop (Psyched! Fest) – San Francisco, CA @
Oct. 31 – Rev Hall – Portland, OR @
Nov. 1 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA @
Nov. 3 – Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA @
Nov. 4 – SLO Brew – San Luis Obispo, CA @

** w/ Spoon Benders
# w/ Wine Lips
~ w/ Iguana Death Cult