Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls

Frank Turner's meteoric rise to success continues this year with news of award nominations, special intimate shows, festival appearances and details of a fourth studio album scheduled for release this summer.
It's going to be another exceptional year…

As well as being confirmed for a plethora of exciting UK, US and European festivals – including Main Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival, headlining the Third Stage at Download Festival on 12th June and headlining Blissfields on 1st July - the summer will see the release of his highly anticipated fourth studio album 'England Keep My Bones'. Recorded in Crouch End's stunning Church Studios, Frank has laid down fifteen tracks with his band The Sleeping Souls - Ben, Nigel, Tarrant and Matt - and producer Tristan Ivemy for a record with the quintessential English sound he has been searching for.

Unsurprisingly for an artist who spends the majority of his time travelling around the world, 'England…' has a nostalgic feel to it – an homage to his homeland, friends and family he often has to leave behind.

With the acoustic guitar very much at its core, the album is more folky than predecessor 'Poetry Of The Deed' and even includes an a cappella song done in a traditional English style. Featuring contributions from ex-Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay, folk singers Emily Barker and Chris T-T, and Unbelievable Truth's Andy Yorke, he covers themes of mortality, relationships and religion in what is a bold, ballsy yet beautiful album.

The album will be released in the UK on 6th June and on 7th June for the rest of the world.

Frank was recently nominated for two NME Awards. Firstly for the impressive Best Solo Artist alongside Paul Weller, Florence And The Machine, Laura Marling and Kanye West and secondly for Best Band Blog or Twitter for recognising Frank's openness with his fans. To celebrate the nominations Frank played a very intimate and packed show at London's Borderline on 18th February. A full album tour has also just been announced. These special solo performances see Frank return to smaller venues where fans can enjoy an up close and personal evening with this rising star.

The past twelve months has seen Frank reach new dizzying heights of success that has included a support slot for Green Day at the vast Wembley Stadium in June; scooping the prestigious 'Spirit Of Independence' Kerrang! Award in August and headlining a sold out Brixton Academy show back in December; as well as spending the year touring extensively not just in the UK, Europe and America but also as far a field as New Zealand, Australia and China.

It's a far cry from his tentative beginnings five years ago when, after the demise of previous band Million Dead, Frank took to the road as a fledgling solo artist armed only with an acoustic guitar. With a DIY work ethic, and a passion for plying his trade with integrity and honesty Frank toured up and down the country playing backs of pubs, people's front rooms and anywhere else that would have him. With a handful of catchy folk/country/punk songs and enough charm and charisma to win over any crowd, he amassed more and more fans and a fevered cult following soon formed.

With the support and backing from Indie label Xtra Mile Recordings in the UK, Frank has slowly but surely blossomed from an underground hero to a bona fide mainstream success story. And this is now starting to be echoed internationally with the help from US indie label Epitaph Records who Frank signed to in 2009. Having released previous albums 'Poetry Of The Deed' and 'Love Ire & Song' and got Frank out on the road on US tours with the Offspring and Social Distortion, Frank's popularity across the Atlantic is growing and growing selling out his own headlining shows including the famous Troubadour venue in LA.

With the release of his new album and a summer chock full of gigs and festival appearances 2011 is shaping up very nicely indeed and Frank's path to total world domination will continue apace.

The Architects


On their fourth album, The Hard Way (Skeleton Crew) The Architects have hammered out another batch of songs steeped in bitter Kansas City tap water and fortified with stone cold badass. Still stubbornly free of gimmicks, costumes and celebreality bullshit, The Architects are all piss and vinegar and good tunes, delivered with guts and authenticity…just as it should be.
The lyrical core of The Hard Way is drawn from the deep pools of songsmiths like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Tom Petty, while the roaring, crashing sonic inspiration comes from the likes of The Clash, AC/DC, The Replacements and The Who- purveyors of glorious fist-pumping racket one and all, and classically anti-heroic in their dedication to rock and roll as a high principal, a sacramental catharsis and an express ticket to either glory or the grave. An ethos clearly shared and embraced by The Architects boys.
"We are still our father's sons with respect to our heroes." Says singer/songwriter and eldest brother Brandon Phillips describing the evolution of The Architects sound and the creation of The Hard Way. "The one thing that I knew I could improve on from the last album, was to give all these new songs more of a pulse. I still love writing noir-type songs about cops and robbers but the characters needed to feel more real. I needed to channel some emotion in there this time. "
Songs like the infectious "Lost in the Dark"- an up-tempo rocker dealing with the misfortune and struggle of a drug-addicted couple, and "I Carry a Gun"- a slamming, arena rocking anthem of macho pathos and tragic foreboding show a distinct Tom Petty-ish-ness with the former sounding like "American Girl" living in drug-poor squalor and the latter like a sociopathic "Refugee" getting the short end of the stick from both nature and nurture. Meanwhile, the fast, hyper-catchy bop of "Knowing is Half the Bottle" channels The Dictators in both music and spirit.
Coming off 2006's raw, violence-prone and highly-acclaimed "Revenge" and 2008's ferocious and darkly tuneful "Vice" Brandon and his two younger brothers Zach (bass) and Adam (drums) – all formerly having paid dues as the core members of the cult punk-ska-soul group The Gadjits- as well as non-family member Keenan Nichols (guitar) reaffirmed their collective commitment to quality rock and roll and went for a new approach to the song cycle on The Hard Way. "Somewhere in the process of trying to breathe life into these characters and stories, the music and the lyrics just became more natural-sounding." Brandon says, "You can't detect quite as much carpentry on these songs."
The Architects fresh approach to The Hard Way has yielded anthemic songs like "Hell Came To Breakfast", an up-tempo epic which, due in no small part to The Architects craftsman-like approach and to the return of platinum certified producer Aaron Conner (Bone Thugs N Harmony), actually has the legs to stand well above the histrionics and solipsism of your average up-tempo epic rocker. "Aaron gets personally invested in the work we do and would not want his name on some awful sounding piece of shit. " Brandon says. "Aaron has a reputation for good mixes and no bullshit…which means that we can trust him. Trust is paramount. You have to be able to trust your producers experience and his ears. "
True to The Architects form, The Hard Way resonates with big, classic rock sounds like those of late 70's groups. Cases in point- "This Wasted Ocean" rattles and shakes with Isle Of Wright-era The Who, propelled by explosive frenzies of drums and roaring guitar. Elsewhere, "Death Rides a Horse" brings Sabbath's epic dirge face to face with ZZ Top's dark and dusty Deguello while "Big Iron Gate" takes home a blue ribbon for best confluence of AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen influences ever.
"I have an axe to grind with law enforcement and the way we treat crime and punishment in this country." Says, Brandon about the aforementioned "Big Iron Gate" – a classic sounding jail-song in nearly every sense. " I love that song because I happen to feel strongly about the subject matter and because the particular style of the song allowed me to break out my snottiest Midwestern drawl."
That snotty Midwestern drawl and hard-nosed Midwestern work ethic will serve The Architects well as they embark this summer on the entire 2009 Vans Warped Tour to bring The Hard Way and The Architects certifiably stellar live performances to kids across North America through a gauntlet of dust, grit, sweat, three-two beer, dehydration and sunstroke- you can bet your ass it won't be easy and you can bet your ass that The Hard Way is where The Architects thrive.



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