Frank Turner is an English punk and folk singer/songwriter who started out his career as a part of the band, Million Dead. Since the band’s split in 2005, he has released a whole string of albums, EPs, compliation albums and more. Now, 2022 sees the release of his ninth studio album, FTHC (initials for Frank Turner Hardcore). Here’s what we have to say about it…
Frank Turner is actually not an artist I’ve listened to much (if at all) over the years but when I was invited to review this album, I thought I’d give it a listen and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised and utterly captivated by the record.
Turner is a very listenable, relatable and matter-of-fact lyricist. He’s poetic and whimsical yet not in an over-complicated way – he uses interesting language to convey his stories but in an easily understandable capacity. He’s punk meets folk, with even a bit of a country vibe in between.
The album launches with the high-octane, punk track, ‘Non Serviam’, that sets the pace for the album perfectly, before quickly flowing into ‘The Gathering’ – an epic track all about coming together after being kept apart through lockdowns for so long, following the global Covid pandemic.
Some of the best tracks on the album have to be some of his most personal ones; ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ reflects on his mental health (something I gather he’s always openly struggled with) – it’s a folk-like tale with an almost ska-punk vibe to it…plus some great harmonica use too! ‘Fatherless’ (as the title suggests), is a story about not having a good relationship with his father, almost like growing up without one, whilst conversley, ‘Miranda’ focuses on his father’s transition to a woman and how they’re working on their relationship now, on top of an almost country-style backing track.
This is an album with many twists and turns and it certainly has a little something for everyone.
Possibly my favourite track on the record though, is the deeply emotional tribute to the suicide of his friend, Scott Hutchison (of Frightened Rabbit), ‘A Wave Across A Bay’. The song is honest and has the air of an open letter to his dearly missed friend – it must have been truly emotional to write and record.
Other tracks not to be missed are the fast-paced punk track, ‘My Bad’, the playful yet very talk-sung, ‘The Resurrectionists’, that looks at various people he knows and what they’ve done with their lives…and what they want to do to relive their lives going forward, as well as ‘Perfect Score’ – an upbeat song that apologises for past mistakes and looks at making amends.
It’s so hard not to mention each and every track on the album, as they are all so unique with something great to offer; ‘Punches’ is a great rock song with gang vocals in all the right places, ‘The Work’ is simply a nice little song with some wonderful vocal melodies, while ‘Little Life’ is a charming and airy folk song.
This is an album with many twists and turns and it certainly has a little something for everyone – it doesn’t confine itself to just one genre, but instead plays with punk, rock, country, folk and more. Whether you’re a long-standing Frank Turner fan or new to his work, FTHC is well worth a listen, from start to finish…time and again. It’s left me intrigued to check out his back catalogue and looking forward to what’s to come next.
‘FTHC’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/fthc-deluxe/1584829782
FTHC on Spotify
I Haven’t Been Doing So Well (Official Lyric Video)
The Resurrectionists (Official Audio)
We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the singer/songwriter’s ninth album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.