04. A Caution To The Birds
07. Sideways Down
09. Ship Caught In The Bay
11. Suffer In Silence
Burn The Maps
Go to enough extremes and you'll find a kind of balance. Until now, The Frames' music favoured bi-polar swings, violently loud on one song, violently quiet the next. On Burn The Maps, their fifth studio album, the band have reconciled their various personalities into one volatile organism, synthesizing gorgeous melancholy with full-blown anger.
Burn The Maps
Recorded in Black Box Studios, France, Electrical Audio, Chicago, and Joe's House
By Rob Bochnik and David Odlum
Assisted by Gerry Mc Donnell and Joseph Doyle
Mixed at Black Box and Westland Studios, Dublin by David Odlum
All songs by Hansard / Frames Exept Track 9 Hansard / Deasy / Frames
Toby Darling / copyright control
Artwork and layout: Banjo
Band Photos: Daragh McDonagh
Back Wall Photo: Zuzi
The Frames are: Joseph Doyle, Glen Hansard, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Rob Bochnik
Graham Hopkins, Paul Noonan, Craig Ward, David Odlum, Lisa Hannigan, Deasy, Úna Ní Chatháin, Aoife Ní Dhornáin and Brian O'Kane
Pitchfork Media reports on the opening... More
Get an exclusive invite to see The... More
US Rel. Date: 02/08/2005
EU Rel. Date: 02/07/2005
However, since 1990, their dizzying hybrid of arena-sized pop and indie rock complexity has been cherished by a small, yet loyal cult following stateside, augmented by frontman Glen Hansard's co-starring role in Alan Parker's 1992 smash film "The Commitments." Now signed to Epitaph's Anti- imprint, the Frames could finally reap the mainstream recognition they so richly deserve here in the States with "Burn the Maps," their fifth studio LP.
The follow-up to the career-spanning 2003 live album "Set List" is by far and away the group's most determined work of its 15-year career. It's a collection of songs that demand your attention, rife with soft/loud dynamics reminiscent of Sebadoh and Mogwai magnified to fill the lungs of a sold-out Giants Stadium, particularly on tracks like the cathartic "Finally," "A Caution to the Birds" and the transcendental closer "Locusts." Could an opening slot on U2's upcoming North American tour be far behind?
The Frames are one of those acts that, were most Yanks not so preoccupied with crap music, would be huge. They've already conquered their native Ireland, and the hooky, delicate pop songs on Burn the Maps, vaguely similar to those of Snow Patrol, should, if there's any justice, make the Dubliners a name in the States.
The first Frames studio album to receive decent distribution in the States, Burn the Maps finds the act expertly balancing fragile, spacious stretches against lush, full-blown, anthemic pop that's somewhere between the arena and the bedroom. The act swings from bristling, big-chorus pop, complete with overdriven guitars to quiet bashful pop without missing a beat on "Fake." "Sideways Down" switches away from radio pop to adopt a more sophisticated sound where a pair of acoustic guitars and fey vocals keep a string section from becoming too Belle and Sebastian, while "Ship Caught in the Bay" dabbles with electronic noises to augment its hushed dynamics.
The Frames always have been masters of the big pop songs as well as the lilting acoustic numbers, but on Burn the Maps, the band finally finds the formula to combine them. "Dream Awake," building from a fragile guitar-and-voice number into a squall of drums, violin and electric guitars, shows the band's expert hand at pacing and song structure. The seven-minute "Keepsake" follows much of the same pattern, slowly moving from a nearly twee voice-and-guitar intro to a high-pressure roar with all the presence of a Snow Patrol tune. "A Caution to the Birds" takes a more conventional approach, moving slightly between the band's crescendo dynamics and up/down arrangements with guitar leads that crackle and bass/guitar melodies that glimmer with all the starry-eyed promises of the best pop.
Guitar pop comes in a lot of flavors these days, from college-kid clever and alt-radio catchy to grown-up and introspective. The Frames, who always commanded the former segment, make a play to capture fans of the other two types. Simultaneously weighty and accessible, immediate and intricate, infectious and introspective, Burn the Maps is just what The Frames need to put themselves on the map here in the States.
Average Fan Rating: 0.00