Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Franco & The Dreadnought - 2011 - Last Man Standing EP

Pop Folk
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There’s hardly been a dearth of indie singer-songwriters in the post-YouTube age, but Franco & The Dreadnought may be one of the most hidden treasures of the lot, though completely overlooked. This EP is proof of that—these seven songs are stripped-back, earnest, and absolutely gorgeous. The titular “Last Man Standing” showcases a lot of what makes Franco stand out: a strong, emotive voice, beautiful harmonies, simple, strong songwriting, and a wonderfully atmospheric production that immerses everything with a slightly moody tint, as if it were daybreak in some dive in an alley with no name, and you were the only one bearing witness to the magic happening onstage. The whole enterprise, in fact, is wonderfully personal: penned by Franco (real name: John Blaylock), the lyrics read like stream-of-conciousness confessions to loves and friends and they’re all the more painful and poignant for their refusal to strip their inexplicable feelings down to easily digested soundbytes.
Of course, none of that honesty would be valuable (or even listenable) without a solid soundtrack, but this EP delivers on the musical front as well. Franco’s sound isn’t couched in swarms of instruments and grandness, but in its own little way it’s equally magnificent: prominent use is made of well-crafted vocal harmonies, soaked piano chords and gentle guitar lullabies. This moderate approach makes detours—such as a bongo rhythm on the sing-along “Muskateers” and a crowd of voices on “Catch Of The Pride”—even more pleasurable when these productions blow up to full size.
I want you to stop reading right now and ask yourself right now why you are here, in this place at this time. I assume that, like me, you’ve come here because music has awakened something in you, and you’re hungry for more. If that’s the case, then I’m telling you right now, person to person, that Franco & The Dreadnought is absolutely not to be missed.


  1. Great review......

    Totally hooked by this EP

    Brilliant from start to finish

    1. Thanks for this review and thanks to the anonymous person for liking it too!


  2. After listening all the songs, I feel like seeing the devoted deep aspiration of the singer!! Congratulations!!