We haven't written anything about Frank since we first mentioned them at the end of 2004, so perhaps now is the right time to 'revisit' the whole thing.
The story so far is that a year and a half ago the telly company Endemol and the tunes company Polydor put together a girlgroup. The idea was that the girls would act in a TV series ('Totally Frank') then release pop records. The pop records would be made by Xenomania, of 'officially quite good' fame.
The TV bit was always going to be boring — Series 2, currently running on C4, is an improvement on the first but still inessential viewing. But the pop portion always had the potential to be quite exciting, and next month Frank will be doing their first bit of the latter, when they go on tour with Girls Aloud.
Let's have a look at how the Popjustice messageboard — which has of late become a right old bundle of laughs — responded to the news of Frank's support slot.
"Acting woodenly on a show that makes Miami 7 look like Gone With The Wind just screams credibility, doesn't it?"
"I hope the bar's still open when they're on."
"So are they better than The Faders, or not even as good as Love Bites?"
"They're so gonna do an 'in and out the top 40 in 2 weeks' Faders thing aren't they? So what's the point?"
"The thought of Frank supporting Girls Aloud becomes more hideous every time I think it."
Now far be it for us to say that having had their album sitting on our desk and bouncing around our iPod for the last few weeks makes us better placed to judge whether the band is any good or not than a few people jerking their knees on an intranot messageboard, but the facts of the matter are that the album is great, it's quite fresh-feeling, it sounds both authentic and 'touched by the hand of Xenomania', and it comes across like a real band without being all "ooh we're like a real band you know" about it.
Most importantly, we suppose, the reason it does not sound like a Girls Aloud album is that this band is not Girls Aloud. Yes, viewers, we know some of you will be disappointed by this but every new pop group can't be Girls Aloud. Just imagine how boring the world would be if every guitar band sounded like Coldplay. Oh, hang on…
Frank's official site (offering a free download of one of the band's songs)
Frank's MySpace page