Published on September 23rd, 2022

Frankie and the Witch Fingers by Marcos Manrique

While science helps to explain the brain’s response to psychedelics, the individual experience in all of its transformative capacity is spiritual — yet somehow still quantifiable for Frankie and the Witch Fingers, one of the most exciting acts on the current landscape of American psychedelic rock.

Formed in 2013, Frankie and the Witch Fingers are on a journey of relentless evolution spanning six studio albums, assorted singles and EPs, and one major relocation — trading their leafy midwestern college hometown of Bloomington, Indiana for the sprawl of Los Angeles.

Musically they range across psych terrain shaped in part by the likes of Can, Blue Cheer, the Stooges, King Khan and West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. With audible reverence for their muses, the band’s particular garage-psych sound also straddles a line between wild and unrefined, and highly stylized and deliberate. The controlled chaos of a carnival as seen through lysergic lenses comes to mind.

That amalgam has coalesced in full within the grooves of their latest album, 2020’s “Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters…” In the funk-laden, early Santana-esque opener “Activate,” the introspection-seeking heraldic jammers “Where’s Your Reality?” and “Can You Hear Me Now?”, and the volatile crescendo of the title track, the album neatly defines the mathematics of the band’s creative drive.

A 2021 single, “Cookin’” b/w “Tracksuit,” incorporates gospel-like grandiosity into the design. Whether a result of pandemic isolation or reinvention for a new decade, these sounds are further steps forward in a Devonian trek led by founding band mates Dylan Sizemore, on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Josh Menashe, on lead guitar, with newest arrivals Nikkie Pickle and Nicholas Aguilar taking over on bass and drums, respectively. Another byproduct of a band that is as much visual as it is aural, is an even more energetic live experience. Not that we’d recommend you “drop” in, but missing Frankie and the Witch Fingers would be hard to explain.

Frankie and the Witch Fingers perform with Kairos Creature Club and more 7pm Saturday, Oct. 23 at Gramps in Miami. ~Abel Folgar