Woody Guthrie. Bob Dylan. Billy Bragg. British folk punker Frank Turner should be considered among that group of Folk troubadours in no time. Turner is quickly becoming a household name thanks to being signed to Epitaph Records in the States. The former hardcore punk vocalist of Million Dead is now a solo singer/songwriter and has released 3 studio full-length albums now. “Poetry of the Deed” is his latest brilliant album that everyone should give a listen.
Frank Turner’s style is similar to Billy Bragg’s, and other musicians that have a background in punk rock. He shouts out what he thinks, and in an effortless style he doesn’t make a mess of it. Sure, some words don’t have to rhyme but the way Frank delivers it makes it sound perfect. “Live Fast Die Old” is the first track on the new album and it’s a re-phrase of that classic punk song “Live Fast Die Young.” Unlike Frank’s previous albums, this time he records with a full band instead of doing everything himself (except drums and pianos). On most tracks, mandolin, piano, harmonica, organ, drums and bass accompany Frank with his guitar. I believe for the most part Frank Turner just plays by himself at his live shows, but I could be mistaken. The strip down folk punk style would be fitting to hear live but I’d love to hear the full band at a show too!
I didn’t really know of Frank Turner until I heard he was coming out with an album on Epitaph. I’ll be honest; it’s been quite a while since I last loved an album on the label. I think if they continue to sign musicians like Frank Turner, they will get back on track with being a premier punk label. But let’s get back to Frank shall we? The song that got me hooked was his newest single “The Road.” The song just sounded very powerful, catchy and something I could see an entire venue singing along to frantically. His style isn’t all shouting, he actually can sing like on tracks “Fastest Way Back Home,” “Faithful Son” and “Journey Of The Magi.” “Sons of Liberty” could be my favorite track after “The Road.” I just love the subtle piano notes after each verse. The fiddle playing on the track reminds me of the UK folk rockers The Levellers, which I believe Turner, is a fan of? Well, everyone should be a fan of them but that’s neither here nor there.
If you don’t know who Frank Turner is, you’ll find out soon enough when “Poetry of The Deed” is released!
Bottom Line: One of the best Epitaph albums in the last 5 years!
Notable Tracks: Live Fast Die Old, Try This At Home, The Road, Sons of Liberty