Frank Turner

Thursday

SXSW Records

Frank Turner

Love Ire & Song (Xtra Mile)

Turner, the former frontman for UK punk outfit and John Peel favorite Million Dead, has grown up and out of outright rage and into something approaching – at 27 – the heavy-clever wit and wry, do-or-die romantic solidarity of socially superconscious singer-songwriter Billy Bragg by way of Joe Strummer. And it fits him like a perfect pair of battered black Doc Martens: His soul bounces all over the 14 tracks here, from the caustically honest "Reasons Not to Be an Idiot" to the sing-along truth of "The Ballad of Me and My Friends." Lyrically, Love Ire & Song is sublime, funny, and heartbreaking (it's impossible not to mist up during the passionate "Long Live the Queen"), but Turner's smart, touching words are always equaled (but rarely bested) by his driving acoustic guitar. Fourteen tracks, 500 emotions, three chords, and the truth add up to one dead-brilliant debut. (Thu., Latitude 30, 8pm; Fri., Friends, 9pm.)

****

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