The best thing about going to festivals, is the excitement of discovering a new band or artist, who you had no intention of seeing or liking, and who end up completely blowing you away. Thus enter Leeds Festival 2009, the NME stage and the first time that this scribe had heard Mr. Frank Turner play. With absolutely no idea what to expect and with a certain scepticism about folk music in general, we began to watch what this acoustic guitar strapped man and his backing band could do.
The answer was a lot.
Mass sing-alongs, folk pits, arm waving, lighters in the air, and all by people who didn’t look the same, dress the same, or act the same. This though is the magic of Frank Turner. His brand of folk-punk rock brings together the most unlikely combinations of people from all spectrums of the music world: from punks (many who have followed him from his Million Dead days) and folk lovers to indie kids and moshers. Frank Turner has made folk music not just acceptable for one type of music fan to like, but he has made it acceptable for all music fans to like and now after the success of “Love, Ire and Song” in 2008, Frank Turner is back in 2009 with his brand new album, “Poetry Of The Deed.”
“Poetry Of The Deed” is Frank Turner’s third album in three years and just as its predecessor, “Poetry Of The Deed” is an album jam- packed with thoughtful lyrics, backed by Frank’s infectious tunes and rhythms. His punk-folk rock is once again on top form and any doubts as to whether Frank Turner could upstage or even equal the success and popularity of “Love, Ire and Song,” surely should be put to rest once “Poetry Of The Deed” begins to spin.
First song ‘Live Fast, Die Old‘ is a song that sets the whole agenda and tone of the rest of the album. The tone is basically simple: to deliver the same wonderful music that made “Love, Ire and Song” so popular without recycling old material. This is something Frank Turner has managed to do with consummate ease and his talents certainly shine bright, throughout “Poetry Of The Deed.”
As with every album, there are songs that over-shadow the others and the first of these tracks (apart from ‘Live Fast, Die Old’) is ‘Dan’s Song’. A short, but very sweet track, this is one of the few where it is just Mr. Turner and his trusty guitar, not to mention his heart-warming voice and what appears to be a flute chirping in the background. All these elements come together to make a song that is destined to make even the most cynical of individuals crack a smile.
‘Sons of Liberty‘ is another cracking song, a song that takes us on a brief history lesson, ‘Sons Of Liberty‘ is a track about fighting for what you own and it’s hard not take lyrics such as “So if ever a man should ask you for your business, or your name, tell him to go and fuck himself and tell his friends to do the same,” in a literal sense and start shouting obscenities whenever a person asks who you are. A strong reaction it may invoke, but a reaction nonetheless, which in the great scheme of things is what Frank Turner’s music is all about.
Title track ‘Poetry Of The Deed‘ is another track about friendships and people coming together, an ongoing theme in all Frank Turner’s albums. With its opening electric guitar riff, ‘Poetry Of The Deed’ is one of the songs that bring in Frank’s band more prominently than others. This is not a setback or problem that hinders the song in anyway, in fact it sounds rather good with its fast paced drum beats and acoustic guitar strings. ‘Poetry Of The Deed’ is a song to not to be missed on this album.
‘The Road’ however, must be given the best track award. The first single that was released from the album, this is the song that most people know the words to and with good reason. A track about living for the moment and seizing the day and once again Frank Turner’s lyrics invoke the involuntary hair-sticking-up on the back of your neck situation. “Because the truth is you won’t be here long, soon you’re going to die,” these are the kind of lyrics that don’t just pass you by they grip you and take hold of your attention like a sergeant at boot camp. Coupled with racing guitar strums and Frank’s voice sounding as powerful as ever, this is the track that stands out the most from “Poetry Of The Deed.”
Other songs on the album, such as ‘Journey Of Magi,’ ‘Isabel‘ and ‘Faithful Son‘ are also brilliant songs that serve more than just the purpose of filling out the album and ‘Try This At Home‘ is a contender for songs not to be missed though unfortunately overshadowed by the other songs above.
However for all the brilliance of the album, songs such as ‘Sunday Nights’ and ‘Our Lady Of The Campfires‘ are not on a par with the other tracks and do nothing more than take up space on the inside cover. Having said this, when two or three songs out of the thirteen songs are mediocre and the other ten are pretty much magnificent then “Poetry Of The Deed” can easily be considered a triumph by Frank Turner.
“Poetry Of The Deed” is definitely not an album to be missed by either Frank Turner’s dedicated fans or newcomers of his folk-punk world. Inspirational and entertaining, Frank Turner shows no signs of slowing down with his third offering and why should he, when his records are this brilliant.
Original article first appeared on Altsounds website on 17/11/09