12 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's rarely a surprise when hardcore punk dudes turn out to be acoustic boys at heart, but few are as sure-handed as former Million Dead singer Frank Turner. Tape Deck Heart, his fifth solo album, was recorded in sunny Burbank, Calif., in October 2012, with his road band The Sleeping Souls and producer Rich Costey (Muse, Foster the People). The British singer/songwriter calls this his "breakup album." Sure enough, "Tell Tale Signs" names names, and other tunes resemble an autopsy. Still, the album has a quick humor that makes his romantic troubles more poignant. "One day this will all be over," he sings with desperation and relief on the remarkable "Recovery," which turns into a barroom rocker worthy of Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem, or Titus Andronicus. Despite the high-profile producer and the California-studio setting, the album never feels too fussy, too happy, or too slick. "Losing Days" and "The Way I Tend to Be" rock and stay dirty despite Turner's naturally pristine voice. The deluxe version adds five bonus tracks, including the humorously titled "Wherefore Art Thou Gene Simmons?"

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's rarely a surprise when hardcore punk dudes turn out to be acoustic boys at heart, but few are as sure-handed as former Million Dead singer Frank Turner. Tape Deck Heart, his fifth solo album, was recorded in sunny Burbank, Calif., in October 2012, with his road band The Sleeping Souls and producer Rich Costey (Muse, Foster the People). The British singer/songwriter calls this his "breakup album." Sure enough, "Tell Tale Signs" names names, and other tunes resemble an autopsy. Still, the album has a quick humor that makes his romantic troubles more poignant. "One day this will all be over," he sings with desperation and relief on the remarkable "Recovery," which turns into a barroom rocker worthy of Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem, or Titus Andronicus. Despite the high-profile producer and the California-studio setting, the album never feels too fussy, too happy, or too slick. "Losing Days" and "The Way I Tend to Be" rock and stay dirty despite Turner's naturally pristine voice. The deluxe version adds five bonus tracks, including the humorously titled "Wherefore Art Thou Gene Simmons?"

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About Frank Turner

A former member of punk rock band Million Dead, Frank Turner turned his attention to folkier, acoustic "musics" after the demise of the aforementioned hardcore outfit. Born in Bahrain in 1981, Turner was educated at Eton College in England. His first foray into the world of punk and rock in the band Kneejerk came to an end in 2000, and he soon found himself joining up with Million Dead. Over the course of that band's four-year lifespan, Million Dead released two critically lauded albums, but the band decided enough was enough and called it a day in 2005. Turner decided to explore a different world after Million Dead, focusing on his love of folk and country, with acoustic guitar being the guiding force. Getting a deal with Xtra Mile Recordings, he was able to release his first EP, Campfire Punkrock, in 2006. Critically well-received, the EP led to a full-length album in January of 2007, Sleep Is for the Week, which was also a critical hit and a moderate success saleswise.

While filling in just about all of his free time with touring, Turner kept recording, and released the EP The Real Damage and a DVD, All About the Destination, in 2007. His next album, Love Ire & Song, was due in the midst of more live appearances in March of 2008. Turner's label signed a distribution deal with Epitaph in the United States in late 2008. The end result was his Poetry of the Deed in September 2009, his first release stateside. In addition, Epitaph also reissued Love Ire & Song in the U.S. Later that year, Turner released a stellar solo acoustic cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" as a single via Suburban Home Records, and followed it with the album England Keep My Bones in June of 2011. In 2012, Turner released Last Minutes & Lost Evenings, a 15-track, handpicked collection of album cuts and rarities intended to introduce the fiery Englishman to an American audience. It was followed in 2013 by his fifth studio album, the Burbank, California-recorded Tape Deck Heart. Later in the year he released the brief, ten-song Buddies EP in collaboration with songwriter Jon Snodgrass. In 2014, Turner was set to release a compilation, The Third Three Years, which followed two previous collections -- The First Three Years (2009) and The Second Three Years (2012) -- and collected demos, rarities, and cover versions.

In 2015, Turner returned with Positive Songs for Negative People, a collection of all-new material. ~ Chris True

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