CD Cover The Frank Justice Affair
Independent Cassette

Review by Rodney Gitzel

45-second excerpt from "It's Lonely Out There" (352 Kb .au file)

It was nearly ten years ago, back then before samples took over and techno had yet to thump-thump-thud its way into our electroacoustic conciousness. Remember, back when the DX-7 was king? A lot of people with 4-tracks and drum machines were putting out tapes of innocuous instrumental music, and Richmond's Frank Nielson, a.k.a. the Frank Justice Affair, must have been one of them. Or, he is now. Unfortunately, the material on this cassette doesn't stand up against better similar efforts I've heard.

Aside from the drum machine, the electric guitar is one constant throughout this tape, going from the pleasant chording of "It's Lonely Out Here" to the effects-heavy warbles of "Sunblister" and the linear melody lines of a number of the tunes. The other constant is repeated repetition: drum patterns rarely change within the pieces, and Neilson lightly beats us over the head with the other rhythmic and melodic ideas. He does seem to have a few good ideas, though not enough of them to sustain entire songs, let alone seven of them.

Actually, what this tape really does sound like is backing tracks for an unknown vocalist. The verse-chorus-bridge format is there, as are the melodic hooks, and the music stays out of the way, for the most part. Throw in a good vocalist or two and we might instead have a decent sorta new wave, sorta new age, sorta loungey tape.

Artist Contact Info: #215, 8720 No. 1 Rd., Richmond, B.C. V7C 4L5

First published in Drop-D Magazine on September 27, 1996

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