The Frames

Glen Hansard Vocals/Guitar 

Colm MacConlomaire Violin/Keyboard/Vocals 

Joseph Doyle Bass/Vocals 

Robert Bochnik Guitar 

Johnny Boyle Drums 



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The Frames

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.

If 2000's For the Birds seemed to capture the Dublin/Chicago quintet playing in a small room with nobody watching, Burn The Maps turns on the arc lamps. Served by their most faithful production job yet (courtesy of ex-guitarist Dave Odlum and new guitarist Rob Bochnik, who formerly spent eight years working at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio Studio) and recorded in Black Box studios in France, the new record is a skilful mix of widescreen scale and magnifying-glass detail, sort of like putting a Herzog still under a microscope.

So, you get the self-questioning psychodrama and martial rhythms of the single 'Finally', featuring a hackle-raising vocal from Glen Hansard and typically panoramic string arrangement from Colm Mac An Iomaire. You get spiky, nasty pop songs like 'Fake' and 'Underglass', with its dum-dum bassline worthy of Kim Deal. You get the seraphic boy soprano melodies of 'Happy' and 'Sideways Down' and the graphic 4am truth-or-dare drinking games of 'Caution'. And you get epics like 'Keepsake', distinguished by the sort of sea change dynamics associated with Mogwai or the Dirty Three. In short, here's a world where Spector collides with Steve Albini, Arvo Part with Sparklehorse, open-heart surgery songs that deal in love and hate, mourning and ambition, art and blood.

But then, The Frames' career (and one uses the word in terms of careering wildly as much as...

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The Frames
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