Tag Archives: Tape Deck Heart

New Music From Frank Turner


New Frank Turner

It’s probably easiest if I just come right out and confess to it…

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…I have a man crush on Frank Turner.  My father would never understand it, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Turner is a gifted and entertaining musician who has evolved into one of my favorite artists gracing today’s rock music landscape.

He’s still a spry 33, but the tattoo-sheathed rocker has already led two distinct careers.  He has nimbly transformed from the edgy front man of aggressive punk rockers Million Dead to the intelligent, witty singer song-writer who penned the 2013 Album of The Year, Tape Deck Heart. As I offered on the Tape Deck Heart review: “he’s the perfect melding of the strumming folk troubadour and the fervid punk rocker.”

Before we get to the big Frank Turner news, check out a few of our earlier links:

Tape Deck Heart Album Review
Frank Turner Live Concert Review
2015 Can’t Miss Bands
2013 Album of the Year
2013 Song of the Year

Yeah, don’t give me any crap, I confessed it earlier in this article… mancrush…

So, why the deep dark confession?  Well, Turner just announced the release date for his new album, Positive Songs For Negative People on Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor UK/Interscope. The album was produced by the tremendously talented Butch Walker, and finds Turner recording again with his trusted backing band The Sleeping Souls.

Frank Turner - photo by RARAsFArm.com
Frank Turner – photo by RARAsFArm.com

“I feel like this record is my definitive statement, a summation of the first five records,” Turner says. “When a band makes a debut record, there’s a freshness and excitement to it that bands often lose as time goes by. I wanted to make a record with that young, exciting feel.” The lbum was recorded in Naskville over a breakneck nine-day period. “Pretty much all of it is live. The end result is everything I wanted it to be.”

I personally have not heard the album yet, but hope to review it soon. In the meantime, You can pre-order the album here:

And to provide a little taste of what to expect, here’s the video for his rollicking new single
“The Next Storm.”

Tour dates are below. Make sure you Follow/Like Us for more news soon.

Rock On!

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Tour Dates
09/19 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls
09/20 Toronto, ON Riot Fest
09/22 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
09/23 Burlington, VT High Ground
09/25 Boston, MA House of Blues (Sold Out)
09/26 Boston, MA House of Blues
09/28 New York, NY Irving Plaza (Sold Out)
09/29 New York, NY Irving Plaza (Sold Out)
09/30 New York, NY Irving Plaza
10/02 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
10/03 Baltimore, MD Ram’s Head Live
10/04 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
10/06 Chicago, IL House of Blues
10/07 Minneapolis, MN The Varsity Theatre
10/09 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre
10/10 Boulder, CO The Boulder Theatre
10/12 Salt City City, UT Urban Lounge
10/13 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
10/15 Seattle, WA The Neptune
10/16 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
10/17 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
10/19 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
10/20 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
10/22 Los Angeles, CA The Mayan
10/23 San Diego, CA House of Blues
10/24 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
10/25 Phoenix, AZ The Press Room
10/27 Austin, TX Emo’s
10/28 Dallas, TX House of Blues
10/29 Houston, TX House of Blues
10/30 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Music Festival

Here’s a little treat for reading the whole thing – Rock On!



Frank Turner Rocks Orlando

Frank Turner Orlando Concert Review

Frank Turner live in concert at The Beacham Orlando
Frank Turner live in concert at The Beacham Orlando


Among American rock fans, he’s probably the most under-appreciated musician on the planet, but this talented artist is gaining passionate new fans at a tremendous pace. He’s part folk rock troubadour and part classic rocker. Mix in a healthy dose of punk, and you get a unique mix of music and one hell of an entertainer.

Frank Turner cut his teeth as the hardcore punk vocalist in the band Million Dead; abruptly evolved into a folk singer, before ultimately settling into his niche as a versatile rock front man. On Saturday night, he returned to Orlando to a packed house at The Beacham. It didn’t take long to get the crowd roiling as he kicked into “Photosynthesis,” with a clear synopsis of what we were all in for: “Now I’ll play and you sing, the perfect way for an evening to begin… I won’t sit down, I won’t shut up, but most of all I won’t grow up.” The party was on.

Uncharacteristically, Turner took the stage without his omnipresent acoustic guitar. He shared that after recently badly hurting his back, he was directed to cancel his tour, but chose instead to bring a new guitarist on tour and eschew the guitar. He introduced his ‘replacement’ an Irish bloke (whose name I missed) who learned the songs five minutes before they went on tour; and then showed his “Rocky Horror-esque” back brace and shared “We’re still going to have a rocking show,” before kicking into “Losing Days.”

Turner invited the crowd to get involved and open their mouths early in the show and they willingly complied, offering rousing accompaniment on “Reasons Not To Be an Idiot” and “Wessex Boy” as well as two tracks from his fantastic 2013 album Tape Deck Heart: “Plain Sailing Weather” and “Losing Days.” (See our album review here)

His band, The Sleeping Souls is the total opposite. They flew around the stage sounding perfect throughout, and appeared to be having a blast the entire time. During the hour and forty minute set, Frank and his band mates interacted with the crowd constantly, with the front man exuding his abundant charisma and charm throughout.

During a humorous interlude, Turner shared interesting facts about Orlando, as prepared by his tour manager – fun stuff. He referenced prior trips to the city throughout the night including his last visit which brought him next door to The Social. He also threw in some nice references to the Central Florida area; referencing “the best record store on the planet, Park Avenue Records,” the whiskey bar across the street (Elixir?), and worked The Social into the “I Am Disappeared” lyrics; all nice touches.

As an interesting anecdote, Turner pointed out a nice homemade Tape Deck Heart flag flowing form the rafters, noting that fans have arranged for it to be displayed in every venue since their stop in Cleveland over a month ago.

Frank Turner live in concert at The Beacham Orlando
Frank Turner live in concert at The Beacham Orlando

Turner had the crowd in the palm of his hand all night, the majority of whom had never seen him before, but reacted to his every command and movement. As the night drew to a close, the pace was ratcheted up to a fever pitch for a killer version of “Recovery.” He then masterfully slowed things down for the unaccompanied, tender “Broken Piano,” which ended the main set.

He returned to the stage solo and for the first time in the evening, slung the acoustic guitar over his shoulder. He shared with the crowd his preference to play a different song in tribute to his locale that evening. Thankfully, he skipped the Orlando bands, instead heading 100 miles to the North to honor The Allman Brothers with a slick rendition of “Rambling Man.”

Turner thanked the crowd and offered one more song, before kicking into the near perfect closer, “I Still Believe,” with The Sleeping Souls at his side “Now who’d have thought that after all, Something as simple as rock ‘n’ roll would save us all. And who’d have thought that after all, it was rock ‘n’ roll.” It seemed the perfect ending to what is likely the show of the year, until…

…he grabbed the mic and began the rollicking roller-coaster ride that is “Four Simple Words.” The song starts with a stark vocal and evolves into a Sleeping Souls punk rock party. “I want to dance, I want to dance.  I want lust and love and a smattering of romance. But I’m no good at dancing, yet I have to do something. Tonight I’m going to play it straight, I’m going to take my chance, I want to dance.” And we did, deep into the cool Orlando evening.

Rock On!

Larry And His Flask Album Review


Larry and His Flask
Larry and His Flask

Larry And His Flask By The Lamplight Album Review

The first time I heard Larry and His Flask, I was captivated by their unique sound. In conversations with others, I tried to describe their music: rock, Americana, rockabilly, gypsy, alt-rock, Cajun? Who the heck knew what to call it, but it was damn good stuff and one hell of a fun listen.

When I downloaded the new album, By the Lamplight, I noticed that iTunes classified it as punk. Yeah, I guess that works, but these guys will never be confused with the Sex Pistols. If they are indeed punk, I think it would have to be that omnipresent Hillbilly Cajun Punk that’s sweeping the music world.

Larry And His Flask most closely resembles the music of Frank Turner and Flogging Molly. On the incredibly diverse new album, we hear tinges of all the aforementioned genres and the very different sounds weave together nicely, but none of those comparisons does this Oregon-based group justice. Their music is their own; lets just call them the first entree into the new Flaskian Punk scene.

On By the Lamplight, we see them at their foot-stomping, thigh-slapping best. It’s a fun journey where the songs are all over the proverbial map, but somehow they weave together perfectly.  You’ll hear prominent stand-up bass, banjo, ukulele, electric guitar, all kinds of percussion, and who knows what else.  Good stuff…

The first track, “Pandemonium” kicks off with a cold a Capella vocal and then abruptly rips into a swinging Dixie jaunt before evolving into a clever rocker. It’s a rarity in today’s generally saccharine, safe rock landscape, but a harbinger of things to come on the album. “Out of Print is a more traditional rocker but still offers a hint of swing with a groove that defies you to sit still. You’ll find plenty of banjo as well, including the romping “The Battle For Clear Sight.”

“Home of the Slave” is a rollicking southern rock jaunt, guaranteed to become a staple in their already dynamic live show.  It’s got some great social commentary, but this song is dominated by the banjo and guitar riffs and addictive vocals. On “Cruel Twist of Fate” and “Tides” we see another aspect of the band’s sound, as they throw in some nice brass.

Listening to By The Lamplight, I frequently found myself drawn to comparing the work to Frank Turner’s. There’s good reason; the band backed him recently in Europe, and released this album on his Xtra Mile Recordings label.  I’m not certain, but do believe Turner’s voice can be found on the album, as well.  This one is not as good as Turner’s masterful Tape Deck Heart (see our review here), but still a creative album worth a listen (Check it out below).

Rock On!

OK, America – It’s Time to get on Frank Turner’s Bandwagon

Frank Turner, Tape Deck Heart Album Review

Frank Turner has quietly became a huge star in his native England, while illogically wallowing in relative mainstream obscurity in the States. He’s a relentless road warrior famous for delivering fantastic live shows, and is a prolific song-writer with an excellent catalog of songs. I suspect he’s quite happy with his cult following in the States, where he’s never really had a commercial breakthrough, but that is about to change.

Tape Deck Heart, Turner’s Fifth solo album is a rare marriage of stirring song-writing and creative passionate music. Turner is a talented poet, sincere story-teller and tremendous musician, and he’s created a fantastic album, destined to be prominently included in 2013’s year-end Best Albums lists.

The 31 year-old Turner is the former front-man for hardcore punk rockers Million Dead. Since going off on his own, he has shifted to more of an acoustic driven sound as a solo artist. On Tape Deck Heart, we see a perfect melding of the strumming folk troubadour and the fervid punk rocker.  The sound is unique and Turner pulls it off perfectly. We hear a roller-coaster of lyrics that effortlessly transforms from hopefulness to resignation to bitterness and despair before sneaking back to optimism: just magnificent.

If you’re not familiar with Frank Turner, and are looking for a comparison, there’s not truly an easy match.  At times I thought of the best traits of artists such as The Lemonheads (before Evan Dando imploded), The Replacements, Chuck Ragan and Flogging Molly.  An eclectic mix, but damn good company.

Recovery” is the first single off of the album and already one of the year’s top songs. It’s a catchy, bouncy tune that is pure addiction. The lyrics belie the poppy sound, as they reflect a desperate, if not unrealistic attempt to recover from a failed relationship. Turner’s vocals are wide-ranging and captivating; nicely accompanied by a rollicking piano and guitar driven backdrop.  “Losing Days” is another song cut from the same cloth, and an excellent track on it’s own.

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On the opposite side of the spectrum is the tender “Tell Tale Signs,” The stark song kicks off with a cold “Goddammit Amy,” and then shares a sad tale of love lost. “Like nothing really matters, Like pain doesn’t hurt, You should mean more to me by now, Than just a heartbreak in a short skirt.” The entire song is a lyrical gem and great story; one of many samples of Turner’s story-telling magic.

The best song is the fantastic “Four Simple Words.” It’s a 5 minute roller coaster ride that just oozes creative genius. The song starts as a slow meandering tome accompanied by minimalist piano, then a bit of a hopeful plea (those four words) “I want to dance,” before exploding into a raucous punk rock anthem.  The vocals are diverse and captivating, and the lyrics again superb. It’s a brilliant song, and sadly one that will never get a sniff of airplay on our stale American radio outlets, but stand assured, this will quickly become a highlighted staple in his live shows.

“The way I Tend To Be” and “Polaroid” are two more tracks with the potential to be hits that you’ll find bouncing around in your head.  At the other end of the scale is the slow, heart-wrenching “Broken Piano,” and the farewell ballad “Anymore.”  The album is masterfully produced by Rich Costey (Muse, NIN) who does a nice job highlighting Turner’s distinctive voice and giving the album a great feel and flow.

We hear the refrain too often that rock music is dead. It’s not, there’s still some fantastic stuff from the likes of The Black Keys, The Drowning Men and Foo Fighters; now, it’s safe to add Frank Turner to that list. Go out, buy the album below and help save rock ‘n roll.

I’ll leave you with this quote from “Four Simple Words:” “Somebody told me that music with guitars was going out of fashion and I had to laugh. This shit wasn’t fashionable when I fell in love. If the hipsters move on, why should I give a fuck?”

Rock On!

RARA's Choice Plus (9/10)
RARA’s Choice Plus (9/10)

(see RARA’s rating system)

P.S. Follow Frank on Twitter – he’s a caustic intelligent guy and always entertaining. @frankturner