NYC-based punk-rock band The FMs have released their sophomore double LP, PINK + BLACK on May 10. 

Duo Matte Namer and Frankie Rex formed the NYC-based punk band The FMs in 2016. United by their shared transgender experience, the duo spent six years performing at underground shows and recording three LPs. The future of the band was shaken in 2022, with Frankie Rex passing away from a fentanyl overdose. After a two-year hiatus, the band has reformed and released this new double LP as a posthumous memorial to Rex. 

PINK + BLACK is a rock odyssey propelled by punchy synth hooks and raw punk energy. The album seamlessly shifts between upbeat dance-punk tracks and Brian Eno-influenced synth passages. With instrumentation that is dreamy yet forceful, the FMs discuss issues of gender roles, and transphobia. 

The album starts off with a bang with opener “Hit Yourself.” The track has a rhythmic, almost hypnotic industrial beat. The pulsating rhythms and sharp synths are reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails or early LCD Soundsystem. This instrumentation propels lyrics that tell a story of a sado-masochistic romance, with a repeated refrain rallying against the patriarchy. 

The standout of the album was the single “Transformation Dreams,” a dreamy and anthemic song. “Transformation Dreams” combines layered synths and ethereal effects-laden guitars to create an atmosphere reminiscent of 1980s post-punk and dream pop. Fans of The Cure or Cocteau Twins are sure to enjoy this track. Its lyrics touch on the feelings of body dysmorphia and hope for the future, using its catchy instrumentation to back up these heavy topics. 

The FMs have released double LP PINK + BLACK on May 10.The FMs have released double LP PINK + BLACK on May 10.

The album has great range, with tracks that you can both dance and disassociate to. It impressively weaves together a mix of industrial dance, goth and ambient that is sure to keep listeners intrigued, all while tackling the important themes of identity and politically-motivated hatred. In all, this album is a testament to the FMs musical prowess that any fans of indie and punk should listen to. 

In the wake of this album, The FMs have organized Frankie Fest, a memorial to the late Frankie Rex. The event took place May 11 on Coney Island, and featured performances from a host of NYC-based queer performers. The festival included the first performance by the FMs since the passing of Rex. All proceeds went to the Chosen Family Law Center, providing low-income transgender New Yorkers with free legal services. 

For more information on The FMs and their release PINK + BLACK, click here.

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