Review : Framing Hanley - A Promise To Burn
Sputnikmusic“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. It is a phrase which advocates learning from one’s mistakes, but inherently built into its message is that the party doing the fooling is the same on both occasions. When it comes to music, it would seem that the party in question would be a particular artist… However, could the saying be stretched to entire genres? Case in point is yours truly and the much denounced genre of mainstream rock. Many bands who ply their trade on worldwide rock radio tend to release a debut LP which suggests much promise. Logic would dictate that natural growth and general room for improvement would mean that said band would only get better with subsequent albums. Yet, time and time again, the exact opposite occurs. Let me introduce you to another such outfit; Framing Hanley.
On 2007’s debut ‘The Moment’, the Nashville quintet impressed with their effective dual guitar attack and Kenneth Nixon’s strong vocals. Unfortunately, it was neither of these strengths - nor killer lead single ‘Hear Me Now’ - which got them noticed, but an attention-seeking cover of Lil’ Wayne’s ‘Lollipop’. Consequently, a decision has clearly been made to appeal to as large an audience as possible on follow-up album ‘A Promise To Burn’. The result is predominantly harmless radio-rock fodder, with practically all of the rough, slightly heavier edges of their debut gone in favor of a more melodic, slickly produced product....full text
Ultimate-guitarSound: Framing Hanley may call Nashville, Tennessee their hometown but the rock quintet’s sound is loaded with melodically taut frizzing in the guitar chords and seething riffage symbolic of 30 Seconds To Mars. The band’s latest release A Promise To Burn triggers modern rock flusters in the vane of Breaking Benjamin with howling vibrations that shear a path of crisscrossing slashes. Most of the album follows a Goth rock model relatable to the band’s musical influences like 30 Seconds To Mars exemplified in the track “You Stupid Girl,” which is not as derogatory as it may appear in the title. There are a few flecks here and there that could have originated from the band like the romantic rock glint of “Fool With Dreams” and the piano trills arching long and hollowing out along the grooves of “The Burn”....full text
DecoymusicWhen the label “mainstream rock” is uttered, many connotations come to mind. For example, a recycled sound, a musical approach featuring one too many power chords, subpar lyrics, and cookie-cutter song structures are all commonly associated with the genre that has been known primarily for Nickleback and Breaking Benjamin singles for the past decade. Regrettably, Framing Hanley is not the band to break free of these stereotypes. In spite of this, and due to the memorable melodies featured on A Promise to Burn, Framing Hanley have still released an above average record when compared to the rest of what mainstream rock has to offer.
After a hushed introduction, Framing Hanley’s second full length album begins with “The Promise,” one of the album’s standout tracks. Before I proceed any further, by “standout” I mean one of the album’s more memorable songs. I want to reiterate that, as a whole, Framing Hanley is not performing music steeped in originality. Yet, “The Promise” features an athemic chorus along with driving guitars and a lingering string section proving that a strong arrangement can conquer originality on occasion.
This theory gains reinforcement repeatedly over the course of A Promise to Burn as is evident in songs “Bittersweet Sundown” and “Fool With Dreams.” Both songs demonstrate that Framing Hanley has mastered the art of constructing an irresistible chorus capable of lodging itself into a listener’s cranium for hours and hours after concluding a listen....full text
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