Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Maybe I should just move along.

The Frames - Sideways Down - There's an old Jewish tradition that says the 10 days between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur - between the new year, and the day of atonement, should be spent reflecting on the year past. It's a time to remember past lapses, to forgive old grievances, repair burnt bridges, and to apologize. So, it seems fitting to kick off my posting during that week with a few tracks from the Frames new album, Burn the Maps, released last week. The Frames have long been known for their dynamic sound, quiet and intimate one moment, and bombastic the next. On Burn The Maps they've compressed those tendencies down to single tracks. The song opens with echoes of a distant bassline, vocals front and center. Slowly a beat comes in, filtered, it almost sounds like the intro of some weird, acoustic take on IDM. And then, the musicians come into the same room. The instrumentals move front and center as Glen Hansard sings about how "everybody fucks up, it's just something thats been going 'round." When the song explodes into the mid point of the Frames range, and the strings come in, the sense of longing, of regret - the desire to set things right shines through - even if it means leaving the past, and leaving love behind.

The Frames - Finally - Finally shows the Frames in a full on assault mode, revealing why they may be Irelands best kept secret at the moment. With string arrangements giving the song a delicacy as it opens, and then tightening, enclosing, the song picks up a martial quality. The song is a challenge and a scream, and when the song breaks, a bit before the two minute mark, there's real pain there - you can feel the anger over mistakes made, over grievances that cannot be undone. And the strings come front and center, and it's just beautiful.

The Frames - Fake - I would be remiss if I didn't include "Fake". The song is the perfect merging of the sides of the Frames sound, half Spectorized symphony, half stripped down, lo-fi rage. The dynamics of this song careen between resignation and the most vicious bitterness possible. The song opens in full on guitar attack mode, but quickly quiets down to just vocal and acoustic - resigned and weary, but with hints of a bubbling rage in the guitar work. And then, the words that set Glen off "you're telling me I should forget you..." And the song explodes with rage at this new man. The bitterness and the jealousy shine through, and as the song bounces between it's extremes, we see the Frames slowly finding a middle ground... never quite accepting, but the rage cooled, the process of falling apart and finding the pieces all over again.

[Buy Frames tracks from the Itunes Music Store, or buy Burn the Maps from Road Records!]

9 Comments:

At 9/21/2004 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Oh my, Keith. I owe you one indeed - some unheard Frames to take me across the ocean! :)

 
At 9/21/2004 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw the frames open for damien rice and it was one of the best shows i've ever seen. i immediately bought all of their discs and singles that i could find. didn't translate as well on disc for me--definitely a band to see live!

...dana@betterPropaganda

 
At 9/21/2004 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

Wow...just listening to 'Fake' and I really like it! Thank you! I'll see about buying it :)

 
At 9/21/2004 05:38:00 PM, Blogger su-tang 3000 said...

Some very cool tracks. Thanks.

 
At 9/21/2004 05:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what you have going on here, very cool! I've never even heard of the frames, but all three songs are pretty sweeeeet so I'll have to get more where they came from.......thanks!

(www.thecrystal.org)

 
At 9/22/2004 05:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a promotional copy of "Fitzcarraldo" in a cheap bin at a local sorta-indie record shop in the Orlando, FL area somewhere around 6 years ago.

It's easily one of the best purchases I ever made. For a while, I even hunted bargain bins for additional copies I could give to folks just to spread that amazing music.

Thanks for Frames I've not yet heard. In Florida, their CDs can be difficult to come by affordably, unless thye make it to a used bin.

 
At 9/22/2004 09:05:00 AM, Blogger brian michael said...

first time i heard the frames was on WZBC radio (Boston) about 5 years ago. well actually it was glen hansard solo, live acoustic. anyhow, i was blown away. so much feeling and power. i was hooked.
then i set out looking for some info. oh, he was the guy who played guitar in that movie "the commitments"...weird. still, I cannot find any discs in the local stores. but then in a little used record/voodoo shop in New Orleans i come across a Frames CD called "another love song" and it is only $4. i was thrilled...until i listened to it. not stellar, not even OK. but i venture on and keep searching. i search half.com and find Dance the Devil for $2. this is what i was looking for. the power, the honesty. and they just keep going.........
how long can this secret be hidden?
Thanks for the new tracks Keith. great choice.

 
At 9/23/2004 08:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Frames are awesome! I discovered them almost a year ago, and bought Setlist when it came out. There are a couple cool Frames sites hosting mp3s of shows and radio appearences (I don't have links handy, but poke about Google a bit). Thanks for the new stuff- gotta get the cd.

brew
brewdog.typepad.com
(currently hosting the other Irish band's new single, get it quick or risk Vertigo)

 
At 9/27/2004 05:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Stuff was trying to find a site over in the US where i could get the new album Burn The Maps, Cheers!

 

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