It isn’t easy to blend elements of several musical genres into just five songs and still leave space for purity. Alas, It would appear that amongst those musicians who have mastered such musical alchemy sits Frank Turner. Recorded in just three days, Frank Turner’s Rock n Roll EP is a rather delicious blend of styles, emotions and experiences.
Opening with the anthemic I Still Believe, the listener is transported to a festival somewhere in the archives of their past summers and prompted to stand up wielding some beer (preferably in a plastic cup and slightly warm) and become immediately involved for fear of missing the party. The experience is further enhanced by the fact that the backing vocals are provided by the festival goers from Frank’s own archives – an idea that carries the risk of turning to cheese, but in this case emerges triumphantly.
Then as you’ve settled into your imaginary festival crowd you’re gently plucked from the mayhem and fed a treacle like dose of folk. Pass it along has catchy melodies that make it impossible not to! The vintage acoustic sound and building lyrics pull you to a motivating crescendo that has you raising the aforementioned pint of beer once more. Rock and Roll Romance is a short but strangely bittersweet proposition of love, set over a genuinely lovely chord progression. It’s almost juxtaposed in the middle of this EP, but it sits patiently there, waiting to be heard.
In line with my earlier suggestions of experience enhancing props, I recommend you listen to the next track with your phone in your hand. With a trademark punk sound, To Absent Friends is a smile inducing shot of energy that will have you calling your mates in far away places and various timezones. For me the highlight of this EP is The Next Round. Musically the song is impeccably constructed. The way the guitars and vocal line work in unison sets an intense scene and there’s a strangely addictive authenticity in it’s melancholy. The production on this track is beautifully done yet cleverly the song still remains necessarily raw.
Rock n Roll is an holistic listening experience. It is an EP that does exactly what music should do – it draws you into a collection of stories and experiences whilst treating your ears to the skill by which it is delivered.