A decade ago, New York was awash with modern garage-rock bands, ranging from the Velvet Underground inspired Crystal Stilts to the female garage-punk of Vivian Girls. One thing those and other groups had in common was drummer Frankie Rose, who lasted a little while in each one before moving on, eventually of course fronting her own band, Frankie Rose & The Outs.
But those days are long since past in New York, those groups seemingly no more, and Rose moved back to Los Angeles. However, she has revived her musical career with Cage Tropical, which leans into the eighties new wave sounds.
There is some actual tropical on Cage, such as opener “Love In Rockets”, but the album much more hews to the pretty, pushing waves of new wave – penultimate synth instrumental “Epic Slack” could be taken from the soundtrack of Stranger Things. The album is best when the push gives it real urgency, such as on “Dyson Sphere” and “Trouble”, while the more relaxed songs don’t stand out.
It’s not going to be 2007 again, and Brooklyn has had a few more generations of young garage-rockers that everyone around them are sure that they’re going to be the next big thing. But it’s great to see Frankie Rose staying in the game, her way.