Frankie and the Witch Fingers at Pickathon 2022. Photo by Todd Cooper.

Witching Hour

Psychedelic rock band Frankie and the Witch Fingers makes Eugene debut at Old Nick’s Pub

Few bands can match the pleasantly violent assault on the ears of The Stooges’ 1973 classic Raw Power. But Frankie and the Witch Fingers can claim to be in the company that can rain down upon its listeners grinding guitars, pummeling bass and thumping drums. 

Frankie and the Witch Fingers bring this energy to its Eugene debut at Old Nick’s Pub on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The band will be traveling into town fresh off a Jan. 31 sold-out show in Portland, and the show will include new songs by the band. 

The band’s most recent album — Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters, released in 2020 — shows its musical style. It’s a dynamic range that runs from gentle to guitar amps on the brink of collapse in a matter of seconds. 

“We love to incorporate dynamics into the music. It makes it more fun to listen to, definitely more interesting to play and a little easier on the ears, too,” says lead guitarist Josh Menashe. “It’s nice to treat every song like a journey.” 

What’s part of the song’s journey is the lyrics, which can sometimes lean into the macabre as found in “Reaper” from the 2020 album: “As I search for meanings code/ She lies beside me decomposed.” 

The musical side of the band is what directs and influences the lyrics, says lead singer and guitarist Dylan Sizemore. He struggles to describe the lyric writing process, saying it’s an organic process and that the music influences the lyrics.

In 2022, the band played about 100 shows, says bassist Nikki Pickle. The current tour is the first of the year, which began in San Diego, up to Seattle and will go back down to California. 

Frankie and the Witch Fingers at Pickathon 2022 (Grove stage). Photo by Todd Cooper.

Frankie and the Witch Fingers is about to release a new album, which it teased with two singles “Electricide” and “Chalice” that came out in 2022. The new album won’t be too much of a departure of the band’s sound, except that it’s the first with new drummer Nick Aguilar, and he brings a new energy to the band. 

“As we were getting to know him and jamming with him we were also writing,” Menashe says. “It was a really explosive kind of creativity because you’re getting together with this new person and simultaneously writing.”

The band recorded the new album while on its hectic 2022 tour schedule, which Menashe says added some rawness and funk to the album. Rather than record the album digitally, the band relied on the analog reel-to-reel tape. That approach not only has more depth to it but also made the band appreciate every take, he says. 

When Frankie and the Witch Fingers take the stage at Old Nick’s Pub, the band will take its music — that is at times as unstable as an ion — to the next explosive level. But it won’t go too far, cautions Pickle. “That would ruin the venue. Somewhere in the middle.” 

Frankie and the Witch Fingers with Monsterwatch is 9 pm Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Old Nick’s Pub. Tickets are $15.75. 

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