Vegas’ Franks and Deans put a punk rock spin on the Rat Pack

Their success is inked into another man’s shin.

A few years back, Allan Carter, founder of Vegas’ SquidHat Records, told signees Frank & Deans that he’d honor the first act to sell 1,000 copies on his label by getting a tattoo of their band logo.

“I keep my promises,” Carter says as he pulls up a pants leg, the glow of illuminated blowfish above him on his tiki-themed back patio, revealing the tat in question.

Two years ago, Frank & Deans dropped their debut, “How Did You All Get In My Room?,” an album full of punked-up takes on Rat Pack tunes, old-school Vegas with new velocity levels.

It would become SquidHat’s biggest seller — for now.

Squidhat’s distributor has already ordered three times as many copies of the band’s new record, the aptly titled “The Best You’re Gonna Feel All Day,” than they did the last go-round.

‘We give them fair warning’

How did Franks & Deans get here?

By playing here, there, everywhere.

They’ve performed in 7,000-seat amphitheaters in Milwaukee, sandwiched between Foghat and Toto. They’ve done car shows, weddings and senior dance parties, played basements and theaters alike, opened for Bad Religion and gotten loose with Otis Day.

Here’s how it goes down: “We have a spot in every show where we introduce the band and (guitarist-singer Ryan “Arpee”) Sampson says, ‘Hi, we’re Franks & Deans from Las Vegas, Nevada, and we’re here to (mess) up your grandma’s music,’ ” grins singer-guitarist Jordan Hoss, a big dude with an equally outsize crooner’s voice.

“We give them fair warning,” adds the group’s dancer, Miss Nicole Muse (“She keeps the guys looking and the girls dancing,” bassist Robert DeTie explains.)

‘Freedom to explore’

While Franks & Deans’ sound was pretty specific on their debut (Frank, Sammy and Dean with amps to 11 and Pabst tallboys in place of martini glasses), they branch out significantly on their new one, which would be hard to classify as a punk record, really.

“I think on the first record, you had to validate the concept: We’re a punk band that plays Rat Pack songs,” Carter explains. “On the second record you get the freedom to explore the musicianship of it a little more, and the range.”

“All Day” luxuriates in said range.

At times, they play things relatively straight: Franks & Deans don’t tinker too much with The Coasters’ “Down to Mexico,” an album standout with radiant harmonies, one of the band’s clear strengths.

Elsewhere, they tweak a tune into a new genre, nudging Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” into ska.

And then there are the mashups, DeTie’s specialty, where they’ll merge a punk favorite with a standard from a different era.

On “Day,” they successfully crash Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” into Green Day’s “Brain Stew,” Sinatra’s “Luck Be A Lady” into The Specials’ “Ghost Town,” Rancid’s “Roots Radicals” into Bobby Darin’s “Splish Splash.”

“That happened as an accident,” DeTie says of the latter number. “Those two songs came on Pandora back to back. I was just like ‘Holy (crap), they go together.’ There’s times when I’ll put Rat Pack in one ear and punk rock in the other and sit there for a minute and go, ‘These songs go together.’ ”

‘Bring the party’

On paper, this could all read like a clunky novelty, a forced gimmick that would grow old as rapidly as these songs are played.

But Franks & Deans pull it off by a). possessing serious musical chops, with exceptional vocal interplay b). coming at the source material from multiple entry points as opposed to a singular approach c). hangover-the-next-day-level live shows that could sometimes pass for stand-up comedy routines, frequently spanning three hours.

“When the main thing is to bring the party, it doesn’t matter what music you’re into,” Hoss says, explaining how the Deans have been able to go over with such diverse crowds, from metalheads to kids, seniors citizens to punks, gray-hairs to dyed-orange-hairs.

Though the band now consumes more and more of their lives, with the group spending a good portion of the year on the road, touring months at a time, they still keep everything in-house. Hoss does the booking, Sampson oversees the finances, Muse does the merch at live gigs, DeTie handles transportation, drummer Michael “Pip” Ullemeyer puts together the fliers and helps with artwork.

It’s working: This bunch is getting almost as big as their crocodile grins, which are as much a part of their show-day uniform as their tuxedo T-shirts.

“Consider me the Huey Lewis of the tribute band world,” Sampson quips, joking about being an “old man rocker.” “I love it. It’s gotten us to play places that I never thought I’d see myself play at all.

“I’m 38 years old,” he adds. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to get to this point.”

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

Entertainment
Las Vegas Yard House margarita changes color in the glass
The cocktail, as made by lead bartender Taylor Cole at Town Square in Las Vegas, changes from deep blue to magenta because of a chemical reaction between its butterfly pea flowers and citrus agave. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Black History Month Festival
Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd, to celebrate Black History Month. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing