Review: Positive Songs For Negative People

Friday saw the triumphant return of Frank Turner, who released his sixth studio album Positive Songs For Negative People.  I was lucky enough to see Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls play at Reading Festival in 2013, and he put on a fantastic show.  It’s clear on my first listen to his new album that it will be full of crowd pleasers, the same as his previous records.

Fans of Frank Turner will be well used to his melancholy lyrics, and as the title of his latest record implies, it successfully carries on this trend.  Get Better, a single from the album, gave us a good idea of what to expect from his latest effort.

Positive Songs For Negative People does a great job of obscuring sad lyrics behind upbeat acoustic guitars, although the actual reasons for his melancholy – apart from heartbreak – aren’t made particularly clear.  It often takes a second or third listen to the tracks to see past the music and work out what they’re actually about.  Frank Turner’s music is ideal for sitting at the window with a steaming cup of coffee, watching the rain pour while you contemplate your life choices.  There are still enough positive stories in the lyrics to prevent the listener from spiralling into depression though.

Angel Islington is a beautiful, stripped-back and chilled introduction to the album.  It’s not exactly an explosive start, but it manages to set the overall tone of the record very well.  Get Better and The Next Storm help to kick things into gear, but the most energetic track is Out Of Breath by far, which brings the record to a crescendo.  The album is wrapped up by the contemplative Song For Josh, written in homage to his friend Josh Burdette who committed suicide in 2013.

While this album sums up Turner’s work in a nutshell, I don’t think it stands out from the rest of his discography, so if you were hoping for something a bit different or experimental you may be disappointed.  Overall, if you were a fan of Frank Turner’s previous albums, then Positive Songs For Negative People will feel like a triumphant return for the Hampshire singer/songwriter.

Highlights: The Next Storm, Mittens, Josephine, Silent Key


6 incredible tracks you need in your life – July 2015

Summer is well and truly here, even if the British weather hasn’t been notified of that, and July has seen a number of incredible summer tracks.  Without further ado, here’s the run-down.

Bring Me The Horizon – Throne

Throne is the second single from Bring Me The Horizon’s next album, That’s The Spirit, due to be released on September 11th.

The Maccabees – Spit It Out

I used to associate The Maccabees with cutesy indie pop/rock.  Their latest singles, which are heavier and a lot moodier, have put an end to that.

Foals – Mountain At My Gates

The latest track from Foals is accompanied by an awesome 360 degree video, best viewed at 4K on desktop or 720p on mobile devices.

New Found Glory ft. Hayley Williams – Vicious Love

This is a fabulous summery punk rock track, featuring some awesome vocals by Hayley Williams.  New Found Glory rarely go wrong.

The Bohicas – Swarm

The Bohicas are a brilliant new band, and their latest single Swarm is a great, upbeat track.

Frank Turner – Mittens

Frank Turner’s next album, Positive Songs For Negative People, is due out next month and I can’t wait to listen to it!  If Mittens is any indication, it’s gonna be a belter.

What do you think of these tracks? Are there any great new songs I’ve missed? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: The HunterSlaves

#tbt : My first gig went a little like this…

First off, I’d like to apologise for the punny title.  I’m one of those people who speaks in song lyrics rather than actual fully-formed sentences half of the time; something my friends really enjoy.

Anyway, today I’m gonna start up a feature I like to call #tbt, or throwback Thursday.  Before anyone starts, I’m already well aware that #tbt has been floating around Twitter and Instagram for a long time.  Can you blame me for wanting to piggy-back off that success?  Basically, every Thursday I’m gonna travel back in time and talk about something a bit old school.  Hopefully this’ll result in a lot of nostalgia for everyone involved.

Ever since I started this blog I’ve wanted to talk about my origin story.  It might not be as exciting as Wolverine’s, but when I attended my first ever gig in 2010 I was probably adrenaline-fuelled enough to demonstrate one of Hugh Jackman’s trademark angsty, despair-filled cries to the moon.  Kinda like these.

On that fateful evening of the 19th of June, 2010, I made my way to Wembley Arena where I watched the incredible Green Day, supported by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Frank Turner.  This gig was the catalyst that got me interested in rock, alternative and punk music, so for that Green Day will always hold a special place in my heart.

I even still have my ticket, stuck up on my bedroom wall back at home, as well as the t-shirt I bought at the gig, which I brought to university with me even though it’s far too small.  Sentimental is my middle name, you know.

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(I also had the good fortune of seeing them headline Friday of Reading 2013, and their performance was just as mind-blowing three years on.)

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Frank Turner were excellent choices for support acts.  Joan Jett got the stadium buzzing with Bad Reputation, and Frank Turner’s The Road was a real anthemic, sing-along moment.  However, as much as I enjoyed the support acts, nothing could have topped the main act for me.

Billy Joe, Mike and Tré performed like a well-oiled machine with limitless enthusiasm.  I could tell that they still love and enjoy performing, even 25 years after the band’s inception in 1987.

Highlights of the gig were East Jesus Nowhere, Are We The Waiting, and their mash-up of Iron Man, Sweet Child o’ Mine and Highway to Hell.  

Now, I’m aware that this blog post, in itself, is nothing new: everybody knows that Green Day are an establishment of pop punk, and put on an amazing show.  For years after this gig I was worried that no other band would ever be able to top their performance.

Even so, I think I’ve made it clear that if I could turn back time and experience that gig again, I would without a second thought.

Currently listening to: Need To BeMemphis May Fire