Frank Turner, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Into It Over It
Frank Turner is finally shaking the old Billy Bragg comparisons with his fourth album, England Keep My Bones.
He spent his early 20s in knotty post-core band Million Dead, then embraced a solo career when they broke up in '05. These early recordings are where the Bragg influence is strongest, thanks to Turner's hard, tuneful strum, keenly observed social critique and his lilting English accent. He made no bones about where his heart lay, calling his debut EP Campfire Punkrock, and recording songs like the hoodlum-fearing "Thatcher Fucked the Kids." His razor-wire wit shines whether describing bemusedly waking on a strange couch or abjectly refusing to merge into the mainstream on "Photosynthesis": "If all you ever do with your life is photosynthesize, then you'll deserve every hour of your sleepless nights that you waste wondering when you're going to die."
After two folk-punk releases, he embraced more of a full-band rock sound on 2009's Poetry of the Deed. He goes even further on the latest. The production is richer without being overbearing, while modulating tempo and dynamics rather than charging headlong into them. It's a sharper effort with growing musical sophistication to match his burning ire and fiery wit.
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