FRAMED - Framed (self released)
YUKIO - Framed (self released)
Rock Action bobs up in the strangest places. Take these two discs, which have been sitting at the bottom of a pile of review stuff (sorry) through no fault of their own. They're two thirds of the offspring of Framed, a four-piece guitar outfit hailing from - wait for it - Zurich in Switzerland. Let's make it clear from the outset - we will NOT resort to jokes about banks, clocks or chocolates.

Staffed by a Scot on vocals, two Italians on bass and guitar and a Czech drummer, Framed are a a sort of musical Foreign Legion and formed in 2000. There's a connection to the Sonic Assasins, the Italian band whose members backed Scott Moran and Deniz Tek on a recent European tour, but I'm buggered if I can recall it. Singer Crawford Smith also worked with Jeremy Chunn, a onetime Sydneysider who played in a band or two and wrote for the street press, if I'm not forgotten. An album is in the works but these two self-produced EPs are the recorded product to date.

Framed cite the Stooges, the Ramones, AC/DC and the Who as influences and it's the latter two that stand out here. 2002's "Yukio" disc is the stronger of the two (classily packaged, too) with strong production and Mark Rossi's guitar the stand-out features. The opening cut "Globalisation Mantra" reminds me of an early incarnation of Sydney's Trilobites with its vaguely political lyrics about consumer power (who said Switzerland was neutral?) "Eternal" shows an ability to sit back on a feel but the title tune doesn't do much for me.

Of the self-titled EP, "Curse" sounds like latter day Screaming Tribesmen (sans Mick Medew's distinctive mewl, singer Crawford Smith being a little more limited in his range), while "Servant" swings along OK but only takes off when Rossi's solo kicks in. - The Barman

1/2 - Framed

- Yukio