Frank Turner

Rock & Roll EP

Written by: PP on 24/12/2010 05:20:35

When it comes to singer-songwriters and troubadours, few are better than the self-proclaimed "half-assed English country singer" Frank Turner. His early material was nothing short of brilliant, winning him critical and fan acclaim, elevating him from the intimate folk punk/pub rocker status to playing arena sized venues in 2010. On his latest full length "Poetry Of The Deed", he hired a full band to support him in his songs, inadvertently drawing away attention from his humorous rants by distracting the listener with all sorts of other things that weren't necessary in his songs before.

Here, on "Rock & Roll" EP, there's a couple of songs where we hear some of that "Sleep Is For The Week" rage that fueled his angry acoustic anthems and connected him instantly to the hearts and souls of anyone listening. The title track, for instance, features some of those pissed off strums at the acoustic strings which sound like they're just about at the point of bursting. The heightened volume oh his vocals on "To Absent Friend" offers the same idea, though here he is supported by a full band as well, but it works because he sounds like he's ranting again, which was always a large part of his charm.

On the other hand, a song like "The Next Round" sounds much like the second Attack In Black album, and it feels a little odd to hear Frank Turner strumming his guitar so gently and singing so calmly and slowly. I'm not sure if this style fits him, after all, nearly everyone favors his frantic folk songs like "Try This At Home" instead. Well, everyone except the critics, who seem to all prefer his quiet songs to the aggressive rants that made him sound so distinctive and different in my ears.

There are three ballads and two faster tracks on offer here, and while the slow pieces are pretty good, they just don't fit into the 'great' category. It's a solid release, but Frank Turner can write so much better, as evident on albums one and two, and brief moments on album three as well. He honestly needs to lose the band because I can't think of a single reason for them to be there. He's great by himself, and hindered by the additional instrumentation. The sooner he realizes this, sooner we'll have another masterpiece in our hands.


Download: Rock & Roll, To Absent Friend
For the fans of: Chris T-T, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Ben Marwood
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.12.2010

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