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FT The Third Three Years Album Art

Frank Turner

The Third Three Years

Xtra Mile Recordings
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Frank Turner’s latest record, The Third Three Years is an 18 track collection of previously unreleased material, including covers, live versions and demos which should help keep fans happy while he and the sleeping souls work on the follow up to 2013’s Tape Deck Heart, currently being recorded in Nashville with Butch Walker. It is also the follow up to the First and Second Three Year Collections, released back in 2008 and 2011 respectively

The first bunch of songs are really good fun, kicking off with a studio version of the Queen classic Somebody to Love. It’s hard not to love this as the original is a great song and Frank really does it justice. Hits & Mrs (from the Losing Days EP) is a classic B-side, interesting in some ways, but mostly forgettable, save for the cool little mandolin intro while both Sweet Albion Blues and Riot Song, the former a Dylan-esque romp through the regions and towns of the UK, while the latter is a well crafted story about the London riots and lyrics like ‘Anger mixed with greed without a plan’ tell you exactly where he stood on the debate.

A couple of cool duets follow, with Emily Barker for her song Fields of June, where Frank’s simple, yet haunting guitar really complement the vocal. Happy New Year, a super fun holiday ditty sung with Jon Snodgrass (of Drag The River).

Something of Freedom, a track from the Tape Deck Heart sessions is a little pedestrian, as is the cover of the Tom Petty track American Girl but then There are Bad Times Just Around the Corner, a quick little folk tune takes us on another journey around the UK, namechecking towns from Berwick to Tunbridge wells. The juxtaposition of the upbeat music works well against a darker story being told through lyrics like ‘ If England is a garden, then we ought to have more manure’.

The covers keep coming, with both The Weakerthans and Townes Van Zandt being given a respectable outing on Bigfoot and Pancho & Lefty before full acoustic versions of Live And Let Die and Springsteen’s Born To Run, really blow everything that came before it out of the water.

The record heads into the home stretch with 3 acoustic versions of tracks from Tape Deck Heart, Plain Sailing Weather, Tell Tale Signs and The Way I Tend To Be, performed with aplomb alongside Matt Nasir of the Sleeping Souls, all of which have enough live energy to differentiate them from the studio versions.

Finally the record ends on a brilliant high, with an excellent live edition of The Ballad of me and my Friends and a punked up version of Dan’s Song.

With The Third Three Years, Frank Turner has really succeeded in providing a good cross section of fan favourites and genuinely rare and unreleased material which serves as a nice stop gap until the follow up to Tape Deck Heart appears.  

 

 

Video: Beans on Toast – ‘A Whole Lot Of Loving’

Beans on ToastUK based, self styled drunk folk artist Beans on Toast (aka Jay McAllister) has posted a new video for his track A Whole Lot Of  Loving. The song features on his upcoming full length, The Grand Scheme of Things, which is due to drop on December 1st via Xtra Mile Recordings. The album is Beans on Toasts’ 6th overall and first since 2013’s Giving Everything.

Check out the video for A Whole Lot of Loving and his upcoming tour dates below.

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Frank Turner Recording New Album

Frank Turner 2014UK folk punk troubadour Frank Turner has announced he is finally hitting the studio next month to work on the follow up to 2013’s Tape Deck Heart. He has not released where recording is taking place or any news on special guests, but as details become available we will be sure to share them with you!

The Third Three Years, a compilation of rarities, unreleased and live tracks is due for release in 2 weeks time via Xtra Mile Recordings. Pre order bundles are available here.

Frank Turner Performs ‘Cowboy Chords’ on Rock n’ Live

FT 2014 HiResWinchester, UK folk punk favourite Frank Turner performed Cowboy Chords, a track from his 2013 full length, Tape Deck Heart (Xtra Mile Recordings) on Luxembourg based music rock show Rock n’Live and the video is up on youtube. The session was recorded back in June ahead of his appearance at the Fete de la Musique, Dudelange, Luxembourg.

Check out the video below.

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Video: Beans on Toast – ‘The Chicken Song’

Beans on ToastEssex,Uk alt-folk artist Beans On Toast has premiered a new video. It features The Chicken Song, a track from his most upcoming full length, The Grand Scheme of Things, due to drop on December 1st via Xtra Mile Recordings. Beans is will known for his slightly wry take on political issues and this continues with The Chicken Song as he has fast food chicken outlets firmly in his sights. Check the video out below:

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Franz Nicolay Details New Record, Streams New Song

Franz NicolayBrooklyn’s genre jumping multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay has announced his new record, To Us, The Beautiful is due for release on January 19th via Xtra Mile Recordings. The album is the follow up to 2012’s Do The Struggle and sees Franz assembling an ensemble cast including Andrew Seward of Against Me! on bass, Ara Babajian of Leftover Crack on drums, guitarist Yoni Gordon and  J. Robbins of Jawbox tasked with producing.

Ahead of the release, Franz Nicolay is offering a preview of the song Marfa Lights, stream it here.

 

 

Beans On Toast Announces New Album, Tour

Beans on ToastSelf styled drunk folk troubadour Beans on Toast has announced that his new album, The Grand Scheme of Things, is due to drop on December 1st via Xtra Mile Recordings. This is the 6th full length for Beans on Toast, and sees the 34 year old express a more mature and wholesome side in his lyrics, no doubt influenced by his recent nuptials! Ahead of the official release, the first single Lizzy’s Cooking is streaming via soundcloud and you can check out his upcoming UK tour dates below.

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Frank Turner Announces Rarities Album

FT 2014 HiResEnglish acoustic punk rock favourite Frank Turner has announced a new rarities record. The Second Three Years celebrates 10 years since Frank’s first solo live shows and features 21 previously unreleased tracks, including live versions, demos and covers of songs by Tom Petty, Queen and Paul McCartney & Wings. The album is due for release on November 24th via Xtra Mile Recordings and ahead of the release a stream of an alternate version of The Way I Tend To Be can be heard here.

Pre orders are available here and the track list and cover art for The Second Three Years can be seen below.

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Interview – Frank Turner

Frank TurnerAhead of his show in Salisbury, UK acoustic punk troubadour (and all round very nice chap) Frank Turner was kind enough to sit down with us, during his pre show meal no less, to talk about his latest tour, writing new material, his upcoming book of tour diaries and a shared love of two W’s – Winnipeg and UK rock band The Wildhearts. Plus word games!

Check out the interview here. 

Frank Turner  interview

Frank Turner

Xtra Mile Recordings
By on September 13th, 2014 at Salisbury, UK

 

 

Ahead of his show in Salisbury, UK acoustic punk favourite (and all round very nice chap) Frank Turner was kind enough to sit down with us, during his pre show meal no less, to talk about his latest tour, writing new material, his upcoming book of tour diaries and a shared love of two W’s – Winnipeg and UK rock band The Wildhearts. Plus word games!

Check out the interview below. 

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Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Xtra Mile Recordings
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Canadians were first introduced to Billy Pettinger through the pop punk sounds of Billy & the Lost Boys. Those who lost track of her once she began her solo career will likely be very surprised when they hear her latest offering. She has been working diligently for years, releasing great efforts that showcase her growing strengths as a songwriter. Through relentless touring, steady recorded releases and engaging creative flourishes (such as funding previous works through crowd funding by selling her own paintings and covering a huge portion of Ryan Adams’ vast catalogue on YouTube), Billy the Kid has grown her personal brand. While she has yet to see the success that she rightfully deserves, there are those who have taken notice of her music. She has toured with some of the greatest singing songwriters around today, including Billy Bragg and Chuck Ragan

Pettinger’s hard work as an independent artist paid off when she was signed to Xtra Mile Recordings, home to Frank Turner and other renowned artists like Dave Hause and Against Me! To top things off, Turner also signed on to produce Horseshoes & Hand Grenades and duets with Pettinger on This Sure As Hell Ain’t My Life. The album explores a wide variety of sounds, which are given a sense of continuity through Pettinger’s sweet vocals. She touches on alt country, pop rock and folk punk at various points.  

It makes sense that she worked with Turner on this release, as these are two of the nicest musicians you could ever hope to meet. They both are likeable figures with a slight awkwardness and tendency toward self deprecation, which just serves to make them even more loveable. The inspired duet between the two is a melancholy examination of the dissolution of an unhappy marriage, with the two artists’ contrasting voices acting as the narrators. Both artists lyrics tend to lean toward emotional expression with a strong personal connection to the material, so even when they stray from the autobiographical, you cannot help but believe every word they say.

The variation in musical styles helps keep the album flowing smoothly. The album kicks off with the angst ridden single Phone Bills, which provides the first hint of growth for the songwriter. On Thoroughfare, she channels a sweet folk song which focuses on her vocals. The somber ballad Chelsea Rose tells a sad story of an addict mother and her spiral into despair through the eyes of a friend backed by quiet guitar strumming and sparse piano accompaniment. The rousing country stomp of Walkin’ Around Hotel Blues is a fun dance number complete with gang vocals and harmonica solos. Things pick up with Back to You, a rock song that fits in nicely with recent Frank Turner releases. The haunted country of Virginia brings to mind Whiskeytown in their prime, while the guitar heavy punk snarl of Lord Let Me sounds like it was written by Greg MacPherson. Her influences are proudly worn on her sleeve and the album is stronger because of it. With this release she has successfully proven that she is a peer to these great artists and deserves to be recognized as such.  

It is a pleasure to hear a strong offering from a female songwriter. The punk scene has opened it’s arms to the singer songwriter genre, but the notable releases to date have all come from male artists. This is a well written album which highlights the personal growth and musical maturation of Billy the Kid.

Tours: Cheap Girls / Joyce Manor / The Hold Steady

Cheap GirlsCheap Girls has announced additional North American tour dates with Joyce Manor and The Hold Steady.  The band continues to support their recent fourth album, Famous Graves, released this past May on Xtra Mile Recordings.

Tour dates can be found below.

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Against Me! Announce UK Tour

Against Me!Gainseville punk rock favourites Against Me! have announced a series of headline dates across the UK in November. The band are still out supporting their critically acclaimed album Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which dropped back in January via Xtra Mile Recordings (UK).

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Frank Turner Announces UK Tour

Frank TurnerAcoustic punk rock favourite Frank Turner has announced a series of dates across the UK in September. It is the first tour since his arena shows back in February and will see him play 15 shows in 19 days. Tickets are on general sale from 9am Friday July 18th, and the full list of dates can be viewed below.

Frank Turner’s latest album Tape Deck Heart is out now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

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Cheap Girls

Cheap Girls

Famous Graves

Xtra Mile Recordings
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Mid-90’s alternative college-rock gets a lot of love by those who lived it.  Affectionate Gin Blossoms and Bare Naked Ladies references abound from those like my brother-in-law who are nearly twenty years my senior and still pull out weathered CD jewel cases purchased at the advent of the modern medium.  That’s where Michigan’s Cheap Girls latest full length, Famous Graves, may finally offer a changeup to the tired after-dinner soundtrack shamelessly repeated at family gatherings. 

Much like contemporaries Failure’s Union, Cheap Girls channel a slightly below mid-tempo, electric guitar driven style with plenty of casual rolling riffs and predictably steady vocals.  In many ways there is absolutely nothing remarkable about the trio’s output.  The songs conform to a standard alt-rock model and fit within a pretty tight box.  Tracks like “Knock Me Over” and “Amazing Grace” repeat singular passages in late song bridges ad nauseum (think Foo Fighters but with personality).  Where they can be forgiven though is Cheap Girls’ level of warmth and comfort.  The songs may not always be individually memorable, but they never become grating or obnoxious, even with an admittedly high level of album repetition.

That being said, definite standouts like “Man In Question” inject a little something extra into their chorus.  Where front man Ian Graham mumbles his way through much of Famous Graves,  “Man In Question” injects some much-needed vocal animation (along with an appearance by The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn) and a salvo of mid-song group “wo-oa-oahs” led by brother Ben Graham.  Similarly, acoustic-leaning album closer “Turns” extends with the hum of late-track organs and more clearly enunciated trail of lyrics.  The difference is subtle, but the strongest tracks resist overindulgence in that muddy 90’s vocal grunge.

In the end, Famous Graves is an approachable outing that modern fans can enjoy, but that aging 90’s college graduates will offer the most adoration.  Partly built on nostalgia and certainly intended to fill today’s void of dwindling college alt-rock, Cheap Girls keep it simple when playing to this very marketable niche, even if safety and predictability remain at the core.

Frank Turner’s Top 10 Hardcore Records

FTFollowing the release of Frank Turner’s hardcore side project Mongel Horde’s debut full length on Xtra Mile Recordings (check out our post on it), the folk punk favourite has detailed his top 10 hardcore albums via Noisey.com. The list contains a few obvious inclusions, Black Flag, Minor Threat and Refused but there are a few left field choices as well – check out the full list here and Frank’s commentary on each, here.

Mongol Horde – Blistering Blue Barnacles

Mongol HordeMongol Horde, the hardcore group featuring Frank Turner, have announced the release of their self-titled debut album via Xtra Mile Recordings.

The group has previously released the video for the blistering hardcore track, Make Way. They have now made a second song from the upcoming album available, Blistering Blue Barnacles, which can be viewed below. The 13 track album will be released on May 26. Pre-orders for the album are up now at the label’s site here. 

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Billy The Kid Announces New Single, Back To You

Billy the KidCanadian songwriter, Billy the Kid is set to release her first single from her upcoming album Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, which comes out on September 8. Back To You is the first single from her fourth album, which will be released through Xtra Mile Recordings.

Horsehoes & Hand Grenades was produced by Frank Turner, who also appears on the album alongside his band mate, The Sleeping Souls’ drummer Nigel Powell. The album can be pre-ordered here.

Billy the Kid is currently on tour in Europe with Chuck Ragan and Northcote, with some appearances including Dave Hause. Full tour dates can be found below. 

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Frank Turner Cardinal Session (Live)

Frank TurnerWinchester, UK’s favourite punk rock son Frank Turner recently took time out from his European tour to play Good and Gone a song from his latest album Tape Deck Heart for the Cardinal Sessions in Cologne, Germany. Check out the video below:

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Cheap Girls – Amazing Grace

Cheap GirlsCheap Girls has premiered a brand new song.  The track is titled “Amazing Grace” form their upcoming new album, Famous Graves, available May 14, 2014 via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Listen to the song below.

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Cheap Girls – Man In Questions

Cheap GirlsCheap Girls has premiered a brand new song.  The track is titled “Man In Question” form their upcoming new album, Famous Graves, available May 14, 2014 via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Listen to the song here courtesy Paste Magazine.

Cheap Girls Announce New Album With Xtra Mile Recordings

Cheap GirlsMichigan punk act Cheap Girls have announced details for their next record.  The full length will be titled Famous Graves and will drop on May 13, 2014 via Xtra Mile Recordings and will serve as the UK-based label’s first worldwide release.  To mark the occasion the band has premiered the new track “Knock Me Over.”
 
Listen to the new track here courtesy the AV Club.  The album will follow their 2012 Rise Records album, Giant Orange.

Billy The Kid Duets With Frank Turner on New Track

Billy the Kid FT 2014The new, as yet untitled album from Canadian singer songwriter Billy The Kid (aka Billy Pettinger) is due to drop on May 26th via Xtra Mile Recordings. It was recorded in the UK and produced by fellow Xtra Mile artist and folk punk favourite Frank Turner, who also performs with her on the song This Sure As Hell Ain’t My Life. 

You can check out a studio video of the two of them performing the song below:

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Frank Turner Announces New EP

Frank TurnerEnglish acoustic punk favourite Frank Turner has revealed that the first release of 2014 will be his Polaroid Picture EP. It will feature 3 cover songs from the likes of Biffy Clyro, The Weakerthans and Frightened Rabbit in addition to the title track and one brand new song.

The Polaroid Picture EP will be released on February 3, 2014 via Xtra Mile Recordings. Pre-orders are available here. 

Frank Turner Announces New European Tour Dates

Frant TurnerIt seems like English folk punk favourite Frank Turner is never off the road, he just seems to float from one show to the next, leaving  borders and oceans in his wake. Fresh off a North American tour with The Smith Street Band, European fans will now be treated to additional dates across the continent in February and March next year.

Not that Frank needs an excuse to be on the road, but he is still supporting his latest record, Tape Deck Heart, released earlier this year via Xtra Mile Recordings and Interscope Records.

Full dates below: Read More…

New Franz Nicolay Single + UK Tour

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay will release his new single, Hearts of Boston on November 25th. It is taken from his 3rd full length Do the Struggle which was released back in August of this year via Xtra Mile Recordings. For the single Franz worked with oktopus ( of NJ hip hop outfit Dalek) which helped take his americana stylings to a new level. 

Franz is also on tour across the UK this November with The Cut Ups (who will also act as his backing band) full dates, along with the music video, are available below.

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Northcote Signs to Xtra Mile Recordings

NorthcoteSaskatchewan native Northcote (aka Matt Goud) has signed on with Xtra Mile Recordings and will release a self titled full length on 11th November, 2013. Matt is a veteran of the Canadian hardcore scene as a member of Means (formerly Means to an End) who disbanded in 2008, and since then has been touring relentlessly and honing his solo sound. 

Northcote are currently on tour in the UK and Europe supporting ex-Loved One Dave Hause on his solo tour. Dates below.

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Tour: Larry And His Flask (UK & Europe)

LarryFlaskFresh from supporting Frank Turner on his most recent US tour, Oregan’s barnstorming folk punks Larry and his Flask are heading to the UK and Europe for a series of shows this December. The band are supporting their sophomore full length release, By The Lamplight which was released earlier this year via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Full dates below:

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Fighting Fiction Post Acoustic Video, Announce Tour

Brighton, UK punk band Fighting Fiction have released a live acoustic version of All In The Delivery, a track from their upcoming full length The Long And  Short Of It. The record is due to drop on Sept 16th via Xtra Mile Recordings.

The video can be viewed on youtube, and the band are out on the road now in support of the record. UK and European dates are below:

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Tour: Franz Nicolay / The Cut Ups

FranzNew York based multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay (and label mate of Frank Turner on Xtra Mile Recordings) is heading out for a UK tour in November alongside Exeter punk band The Cut Ups. He will also be contributing by playing keyboards for themwhile they will reciprocate during his sets.

Full tour dates below:

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Frank Turner Live BBC Radio Session

Frank TurnerEnglish punk troubadour Frank Turner joined BBC Radio’s Jo Wiley last night for a chat and a live performance of the way I tend to be and a cover of live and let die. The session is available for streaming* now on Wiley’s show page

Frank Turner’s album Tape Deck Heart is out now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

*Only available for 4 weeks