Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “The Road” by Frank Turner from the 2009 album Poetry Of The Deed on Epitaph.
Folk-punk. Yes, indeed kiddies, folk-punk is what we have on tap today in the form of the lovely Mr. Frank Turner. Born in London proper, the wee laddie version of Frank Turner got his start like many of us did overdosing on punk rock music, crumpets and chimney sweeps. Okay certainly the first, maybe the second but the third is unlikely. Sorry, my best friend traveled to England once and we liked to joke around about him finding his way there, becoming a chimney sweep and what not. Anyway, nonsense... back to Frank....
First as part of Kneejerk followed by the late-blooming hardcore band Million Dead (with current members of Who Owns Death TV, Palehorse, Queen of Swords and Armed Response Unit), Turner cut his teeth on touring and recording, eventually finding his way stitching together punk-influenced anthems on his own.
I find it rather fitting (perhaps you will too?), listening to “The Road,” that his most recent album, Poetry of the Deed, was released in cahoots with the ever-expanding Epitaph Records. Yes-sir-ee-bob, Epitaph Records, home of Bad Religion, The Offspring and Pennywise seem the perfect match for this hook-happy acoustic punk. Indeed Turner has cited Epitaph Godfather and guitarist Brett Gurewitz’s Bad Religion as a major influence and The Offspring’s Smash as one of the first records he ever bought (it happens to the best of us -– I saw them live once -- pre-braids but still, ugh). You can hear it in his songs too –- particularly the Bad Religion influence, circa How Could Hell Be Any Worse and Suffer. Turner echoes the beautiful beginnings of what would become mainstream soda-pop-punk: freshly forceful and easy to get caught in your head these tracks will remind you of those wide-eyed earlier days when you were still learning about music. Come to think of it those days are still happening. Joy.
Frank Turner has an extensive tour already booked for 2010, with no Seattle date as yet included (though there is certainly still room in schedule to slot in a few Northwest appearances). Check his MySpace page for details and updates, and read more about Frank on Chris Estey’s preview for his previous Seattle show this past September. For now, enjoy his latest video, for the title track of the new album, recorded live: