- 25 Aug 04
It’s been a four-year wait, but The Frames’ vast fanbase can lick their chops at the prospect of the band’s fifth studio album.
hotpress.com has been taking a pre-release listen to The Frames’ eagerly awaited new album, Burn The Maps, which is due through Plateau on September 17.
Arguably the most important record in their 15-year-career, the tracks stack up as follows:
‘Happy’ – “Come rescue me I’m sick”, Glen pleads, making a mockery of the title. At first his only accompaniment is a stark drumbeat, but this being The Frames, his pain is soon eased by Colm Mac An Iomaire’s celestial strings and his own multi-layered harmonies.
‘Finally’ – If middle-age is supposed to mellow you, no one’s told Glen who doesn’t so much raise as rip out hackles with his vocal. Add in a rhythm section (Paul Noonan is the guest sticksman) that’s pure ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’-era Joy Division and no wonder this is all over radio at the moment like a rash.
‘Dream Awake’ – Another slowburner which erupts when Mac An Iomaire puts bow to fiddle.
‘A Caution To The Birds’ – The whisky-sodden, five in the morning soundtrack to a breaking heart.
‘Tryin’’ –Two-and-a-half-minutes of Mary Chain-esque gorgeousness in which Glen, requiring salvation again, sends out a, “Lost my way/Come find me” SOS to his significant other.
‘Fake’ – Never afraid to wear their influences on their record sleeve, The Frames re-write the Pumpkins’ ‘Today’ with Top 5 conquering results.
‘Sideways Down’ – Tom Waits, Interpol, The Dirty Three and – most surprisingly – The Strokes all take their turn on the studio dansette as The Frames comprehensively nail this live favourite. And, yes, that is Lisa Hannigan on backing vocals.
‘Underglass’ – Scabrous feedback guitar, vein-bulging vocals …my God, it’s The Baggot circa 1991 all over again!
‘Ship Caught In The Bay’ – The emotional heat gets turned up again as Glen and Dave “Deasy” Cleary co-author the definitive lo-fi lullaby.
‘Keepsake’ – A jilted lover song which revels in its own brooding malevolence. Couplets like “I’m keeping this as a keepsake/And everything else I’m burning” suggest that the person who’s done the dumping should avoid dark alleyways for the foreseeable future.
‘Suffer In Silence’ – Despair turns to hope with Glen urging, “Come back, show your face/Can’t you see, you’re too good for this place/Can we leave?/It’s not your fault, what they say/Don’t believe.” Not to be outdone, Colm pitches in with another panoramic string arrangement.
‘Locusts’ – Joe Doyle shares microphone duties as Burn The Maps gets the soaring live to fight – and love! – another day climax it deserves.
For more on The Frames, click here for the Marlay Park live review and photo gallery.