On any given night you can find Too-Tall Paul, Frantic Frank DeBlase, and Sid Baker steeped in a rhythm driven frenzy delivering their demonic blend of punk and scorching blues mixed in with a little bit of the 'billy.
The Frantic Flattops are on a mission to save rock 'n' roll and are presently logging in excess of 3,000 miles per month, touring the country, in support of their latest album, and defending their reputation as a "road rash" rock 'n' roll band.
On their latest release, Cheap Women, Cheap Booze, Cheaper Thrills, the legendary Ronnie Dawson provides the vocal introduction while the lascivious cover model, cross-dressing stripper Darienne Lake, supplies the atmosphere.
DeBlase penned thirteen out of the sixteen songs on their current album which he belts out with feverish intensity, making women purr, in his distinguished Gene Vincent-like vocals. "They're autobiographical, generally about women. About the sad irony of our self-destructive attraction to them."
The group was thrilled to work with Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost of the Chesterfield Kings, who produced the album, and whom the group counts among their contemporary influences along with Mike Hendrix of the Belmont Playboys, Dave Sisson from the Three Blue Teardrops, and High Noon.
The current lineup formed six years ago in Rochester, New York. Weaned on piano, Frantic Frank played for ten years before progressing to guitar and cites the Ramones as the reason he plays rock 'n' roll. Previously with the Pharoahs, DeBlase hooked up with Too-Tall while cruising the local ballroom rock scene to form the Frantic Flattops.
Before joining the Flattops, drummer Too-Tall Paul, who stands at 6'5", played in a punk outfit call White Noise, and credits his brother Matt as being a large musical influence. "My brother and I used to beat on cardboard boxes in our basement along to Rush albums."
Born in Scotland, raised in Canada, bassist Sid Baker grew up under a largely English punk influence. As a child, he remembers taking bagpipe lessons which gave him his earliest appreciation for music and enhanced his ability to play by ear. Also an award-winning freelance journalist, Sid embraces a wide range of influences such as Samuel Beckett, Willie Dixon, and Lemmy of Motorhead.
Last year, the Flattops contributed the title track to the motion picture "Burnin' Love" and are rapidly being recognized among a new generation of musicians responsible for rockabilly music's growing popularity. Their following spreads throughout Europe and Asia and permeates into outposts as small as Payson, Utah, proving rock 'n' roll is a universal language, even more than love.
DeBlase recalls, "We had a guy try to get into our show in Oklahoma City who was naked with a backpack. Turned out he had his roommate's head in the backpack. It was in the paper the next day. The cops came up and arrested him." Not surprising coming from a band who previously toured in a hearse.
As Lo-Fi Magazine points out, "There is an irreverent reverence to their roots music that's part rockabilly pioneer Link Wray, part missing link."
Affirms DeBlase "We worship at the altar of rock 'n' roll with one finger extended."