Home > I'm just saying, I'm not saying, Uncategorized > Million Dead – Smiling at Strangers On Trains/ Frank Turner – The Road

Million Dead – Smiling at Strangers On Trains/ Frank Turner – The Road


“When you grow up, your heart…. dies”

“Who cares?”

“I do”

I mean, it is pretty easy to imagine, if you pushed them 20/25 years into the future, that Alison  would be sprinkling her Million Dead vinyl with dandruff while Bender bounded down the hallways with Frank Turner on his iPod, right? And I’m not even having a go here, the notion of Frank Turner in 2010 doesn’t disturb or offend me, it’s just one that I find hard to process. Let me write about it and see if I can clear some thoughts out.

Million Dead never released a “classic” record, but that first album is pretty sound. I mean, mainstream British rock music of the 2000s is basically “Last Train Home”, “Just A Day” and then a massive jump off a cliff until you’re at the point where A went from being goofy pop punks to post-hardcore. Million Dead were around in a time when I was going to the Northampton Roadmender pretty much weekly out of boredom over summer holidays and other breaks from university, and I was always going to be more inclined to sit through those crazy cats banging through “I Gave My Eyes To Stevie Wonder” than, say, The D4s or Glitteratti. Ask your grandparents.

So really all I ever wanted from Frank Turner was for him to make music that was slightly better than the second Bullet for My Valentine album. And, well, he’s let me down. He’s let you down. Does the world really need a slightly less reprehensible Jack Johnson in the charts? An Ocado Billy Bragg? The problem with Frank Turner “singing” compared to him “shouting” is that, when he’s doing the latter, you can’t tell how posh he actually is. When he does the former, he comes across as the lovechild of the guy that plays the Tory MP’s assistant in The Thick of It and the late Lord Alfred Hayes. He even looks like he should be running a media agency these days. Or something that involves “crowdsourcing” and gap years.

I wouldn’t even have “twigged” this was some great movement that I needed to pay attention to if it wasn’t for this video getting some viral play a few weeks ago. It’s worth watching for a few things, as well. The Banquet Records in-store particularly: the last time I saw so many white people in the same place, Jethro was on stage.

You want Frank Turner summed up in one image? Fast forward to 2:08 on the video for “The Road”: he has fans who dangle their sunglasses from their short-sleeved shirt collars without irony. This is a damning indictment of a man who deserves to be damned. And, really, Million Dead weren’t the great, so instead I’ll leave you with this:

  1. Cashmore
    May 27, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Shortie, where u bin at?

    I love the lyric “proper like pasta outta Selfridges.”

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