Posts Tagged ‘Frank Turner’
Oh, Arctic Monkeys, how we wanted to adore you. It’s been five years since their debut LP, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, tapped into the national consciousness and won an armful of awards in the process. Since then, the Sheffield lads made good have released two more albums, both of which have received mixed reviews from critics.
Suck It And See – whilst a triumphant return to form – is less a return to the subject matter which so caught the imagination in 2006, and more a return to the kind of lyrical and musical innovation which made us take the Monkeys to our hearts. New single ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ is a particular highlight, sounding like Oasis might have sounded if they’d been less interested in behaving like rockstars and more interested in writing songs, whilst the eponymous ‘Suck It And See’ proves that Alex Turner is still capable of the brand of wickedly Northern charm that made us love him in the first place, rhyming “Your love is like a studded leather headlock” with “You’re rarer than a can of Dandelion and Burdock”.
Yes, Arctic Monkeys can still deliver the goods, and with this album they do so in abundance. If you’d written them off as another zeitgeist-baiting, bandwagon-hopping identikit indie band, prepare to eat your words – Suck It And See makes as much sense in 2011 as its predecessor did in 2006, and this year might just be their year (again).
Suck It and See is released on the 6/6/11.
The Baseballs’ 1950s rockabilly covers took England by storm last year; second album Strings ‘n’ Stripes delivers basically more of the same. The formula is fairly straightforward – take popular song, speed it up a bit, add harmonies and clicks as appropriate – and at times, such as on their version of Lady Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi’, it does all seem a bit music-by-numbers.
That said, the album does have its high points – their cover of 50 Cent’s ‘Candy Shop’ is frankly inspired, as is their ‘I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman’ – and it’s always an enjoyable listen: they may be a one trick pony, but it’s a hell of a trick. Just don’t expect anything quite as exciting as their 2009 debut.
Strings’n'Stripes is released on the 6/6/11.
Released in a week when Arctic Monkeys are taking up most of the available column inches, Frank Turner’s England Keep My Bones risks going rather under the radar. And that would be a tragedy.
Turner’s become better and better with every album he’s released so far – a particular highlight was 2007’s Love, Ire and Song, but he’s been on the up and up ever since 2006′s Campfire Punkrock EP – and England Keep My Bones doesn’t buck the trend. Songs such as ‘I Still Believe’ have echoes of Billy Bragg at his 1980s best, and new single ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’ is even better, managing to combine acoustic musings with punk attitude without either suffering.
More than most, Frank Turner deserves to make it big this year: England Keep My Bones is his fourth solo album. Hopefully, it will be the one to garner him the recognition he deserves.
England Keep My Bones is released on the 7/6/11.
This year’s Mark Ronson-produced Black Lips long player is the group’s sixth album, but it still sounds as fresh as though it were their first. With Ronson at the helm, the melodious side of the Lips is all the more obvious, as first single ‘Go Out And Get It’ will attest. Their jangly garage sound might not be breaking any records for originality – ‘Modern Art’ is nothing so much as Elephant-era White Stripes, whilst ‘Dumpster Dive’ could almost be a Strokes b-side – but it’s still a solid representation of the genre. All in all, Arabia Mountain is worth your attention – it just won’t hold it for long.
Arabia Mountain is released on the 7/6/11.