Frank Turner : Tape Deck Heart
This reviewer’s had a myriad of reasons to steer clear of Frank Turner. All of those involve various songs/records/gigs of his being ruined by the memory of some terrible person or another. In the interest of adulthood, I am now choosing to black out those blotches on memory in order to recover a love that was once lost.
Recovery being the key word, and – incidentally – the opening track, one that couldn’t have come at a more pressing juncture (for those in the southern hemisphere at least). Shit is turning cold and depressing. Relationships are crumbling. Your housemate is dating your most recent soul-destroying crush and she gives zero fucks etc, etc. Welcome to the hell on earth that is winter in a southern Australian city.
But don’t get too down, Tape Deck Heart – Turner’s third offering since England Keep My Bones ushered him into the auditory clutter that is mainstream radio in 2011, and record number ten in total – is going to guide you through this difficult time. Anyone with a tape deck heart will appreciate the painfully positive pop gem The Way I Tend To Be, a throwback to Turner’s (very) early folk strummings. Only to be tossed back into their tumultuous teens with angsty folk punk anthem Plain Sailing Weather. The middle-bracket is somewhat underwhelming: just your standard selection of acoustic balladry and self-indulgent whinings, interjected with Four Simple Words which sounds like a Million Dead song re-worked (badly). He manages to redeem himself towards the end with the dark dronings of Broken Piano that provide an interesting production-heavy alternative to the trusty four-chord formula, if nothing else.
BY JESS SHULMAN
Best Track: The Way I Tend To Be
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: CHUCK RAGAN, TIM BARRY, THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM, FRANZ NIKOLAY, COREY BRANAN
In A Word: Recovering