Review Summary: We're definitely going to hell but we'll have all the best stories to tell
Frank Turner is right. Punk rock never did live up to what it promised. The community that it brings in youth fades into a mediocre fellowship of diehards, hardliners, and burnouts, who do nothing but destroy the very ethos that they used to embody. And the kids that keep the dream alive, no matter how well intentioned, only end up caught in an never ending cycle of disappointment that comes to a head in a crippling realization that either sees them leaving their once beloved scene for the real world or becoming that balding, forty-five year old cashier with the entire SST roster tattooed on his body, working at Whole Foods, telling anyone interested about his favorite brands of vegan snack foods that he has stocked at his loft.
Turner's sophomore release, Love Ire & Song
, is the sound of a punk being born again. Not in a religious sense, but in mindset and being. After reaching the crossroads of youthful idealism and the big picture thinking that comes with finally finding out how the world operates, Turner is the poet-laureate for those that were raised on punk's traditions, but have grown apart from its rules and one sided politics. Armed with a lowly acoustic guitar, and his backing band of course, he has traded in his past edge for a more traditional folk presentation that allows his brilliant storytelling and word play to blossom into a rapturous force, entwining love, politics, and happenstance into infectious yet deeply personal anthems that reflect on growing older but not growing up. Every song on Love Ire & Song
is a charmingly positive, but realistically portrayed, look at you, me and all of us. Sometimes it is as simple as the joys of friendships or as complex as the loss of a loved one, but it's all part of life and that's what Frank celebrates. All of it -- the ups, the downs, the romance, the heartbreak, birth and death, and every little moment in between.
All in all, Frank Turner is the most instantly likable figure in music that I have ever come across. Not only does his music resonate with the heartstrings in ways that few modern songwriters can, his live show, just like Love Ire & Song
, is a collection of a higher consciousness that rallies all in ears reach to open up and look past whatever your inhibitions might tell you, whatever this jaded and cynical post-millennial existence has taught us to believe, and embrace the moment, for, in reality, it is all we really have. So why waste it?