Framing Hanley Fans Will Applaud Band’s Return On Its Fourth Album

Courtesy: Thermal Entertainment LLC

Alt-rock band Framing Hanley officially returned late last month with its first new music in six years.  The band released its fourth full-length studio recording Envy Feb. 21.  According to front man Kenneth Nixon, the band spent the past three years crafting the record, meaning the band’s breakup in 2015 obviously did not last very long, considering groups don’t exactly work together when they go their separate ways.  For longtime fans of Framing Hanley, the band’s return will prove welcome.  For those who might be less familiar with the band’s work, but are perhaps more familiar with the work of any number of other equally well-known mainstream rock acts, this record will prove appealing.  One of the songs that serves to show that directed appeal comes early in the record’s 12-song body in the form of ‘Bubbles.’  This song will be addressed shortly.  ‘Maeve,’ which comes just past the record’s halfway point, is another key addition to the album.  It will be addressed a little later.  Forgiveness Is An Art’ also proves important in examining the album’s appeal for its target audience.  When it is considered alongside other songs featured in the album, such as ‘Misery,’ ‘The Way Down,’ ‘Puzzle Pieces’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the record proves itself a presentation that the already noted listeners will fully appreciate.

Framing Hanley’s latest full-length studio recording Envy will appeal thoroughly to the band’s longtime fans and those who might be less familiar with the band’s work, but more familiar with work from similar acts.  That is proven in part early in the album’s run in the form of the song ‘Bubbles,’ which is one of the singles that this LP has already produced.  The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Bubbles’ is a composition that is an easy fit for any active rock radio programmer’s play list.  At times presenting influence from Tool and at others from the likes of Finger Eleven, the guitar-driven, mid-tempo arrangement does well to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  The time keeping and the bass couple with the noted guitar work and vocals leave no question why this song was chosen as one of the album’s singles.  It all collectively makes up only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content plays into its appeal, too.

Nixon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Listen closer/I hear the nervousness/In every word that’s said/There’s a revolution comin’/Fueled by years of givin’ in/Call a doctor/Patience flat-lining/And it’s this side of me/You’ve been known to pull from hiding/Are you aware of what you’ve done/I’ve sat in silence/Nearly biting off my tongue/It’s foolish and shameful to say/We’re the same/All our lives in a bubble/Losing sight of reality/We paint the lie in pretty colors/And blue the lines and what’s between/The stolen unknown/It followed us home/I’m not at my grave.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Embers burnin’/But there’s a spark missing/In the better parts of me/Reigniting all those feelings/Who are you to say I’m dead?/Your confusion has got you twistin’ facts/Your fantasy intact/Tell the story how you want to/But we both know the truth/I’ve sat in silence/Is this loud enough?”  He adds in the song’s third verse, “See, I’m not ready for the end just yet/And I think I’m better off on my own/No I’m not at my grave/See, I’m not ready for the end just yet.”  This song comes across as addressing a familiar topic in the matter of a personal relationship.  This is inferred throughout the song’s lyrical presentation.  Nixon’s note of sitting in silence, biting his tongue and reignited feelings translates that message quite well.  Yes, it is a familiar topic, but the manner in which the topic was approached here is unique, adding to the song’s interest.  When that is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement, the whole makes clear why this song was chosen as one of the LP’s singles.  It is just one of the songs that serves as a point of interest for listeners.  ‘Maeve,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another notable addition to the album’s body.

‘Maeve’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  The blues-rock arrangement is distinct from the arrangements at the center of the album’s other songs.  At the same time, it is its own unique arrangement that is still just as radio ready as ‘Bubbles’ and the album’s other works.  The steady tempo in the arrangement adds even more to its impact, along with the slightly melancholy sense generated in the arrangement overall.  The contemplative mood established in the song’s arrangement works well with the song’s lyrical content, which itself seems to focus on the issue of a personal relationship, too.

The seeming matter of a personal relationship is inferred first in the song’s lead verse, as Nixon sings, “I walk a fine line/Tell me what’s right or wrong/What’s good for me/Right now I think I’m lost/Somewhere in between/Cradled up/Lies rock us side to side/If it’s good for you/It’s good for me/I don’t wanna lose my nerve/Before I even know your name/I don’t wanna sail the seas/Darlin’ there’s no land left to claim/We’re runnin’/We’re runnin’ in circles/We’re runnin’ out of time.”  This seems to focus on two people who are in a relationship that is perhaps at one of those difficult points.  That is inferred through that mention of lies rocking the two people, and that the song’s main subject does not want to lose his nerve.  The added note in the song’s final verse, that the other person has “only got yourself to blame” adds even more to that seeming statement about a relationship at a turning point.  This is one person arguing with the other, saying that person is the one who caused the problem, pointing that finger.  The emotion here is reserved, as the subject comes to that realization about the situation, and the song’s musical arrangement does well to illustrate and translate that emotion.  Considering this, the song’s musical and lyrical content come together here to show without doubt why this song serves as another of Envy’s key works.  It is not the last of the album’s most memorable works, either.  ‘Forgiveness Is An Art’ is another song worth addressing, in examining the album’s presentation.

‘Forgiveness Is An Art’ is important to address as it is one of the album’s strongest entries, with its melodic hard rock arrangement.  While not one of the album’s  single (yet), this song is just as deserving of being a single as those noted songs.  Between Nixon’s vocal delivery, the control in the guitar, bass and drum lines, the whole of this song should honestly have been the album’s lead single.  That infectious, straight forward arrangement in itself does plenty to make it stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is filled with just as much fire as its musical counterpart.

The song’s lyrical content once more focuses on a broken relationship.  This time, the situation is more dire than in the other discussed songs.  Nixon sings in the song’s lead verse about someone who is fake beyond fake and who has more than made the song’s subject angry.  Nixon sings in this verse, “You seem so dignified/You share your war stories as if you lived them/Out on the battlefront/OI don’t recall ever seein’ you around/Is it real/Is it a sickness/’Cause it’s taking control/And it’s making a fool out of you/A cruel mistress/Fate has a way of correcting mistakes/Look at the bright side/I spared you/And that’s a god****** miracle/I thought of all the ways to hurt you/Yeah, forgiveness is an art/How could you bite the hands that feed you/When you’ll come crawling back to me/Look at the bright side/I spared you/’Cause you’re so god****** pitiful.”  Nixon pulls no punches here.  Here, he is addressing someone who has not done the song’s subject any good.  Who hasn’t been in that boat at one point or another in life?  Nixon continues the verbal assault as he sings, “If all the world’s a stage/Seems like they sent in the clowns a little too late/they’re gonna find you out/Hidin’ in shadows/Hidin’ your doubt/Is it real/Is it just business/Hope you choke on the smoke/As your world goes up in flames.”  He adds to the fury in the song’s third verse as he sings, “Forgiveness is an art/Regardless of another shakedown/You’ll never cause another breakdown/Forgiveness is an art/I hope you know I hate/The way how you thought I dug myself a way out.”  There’s obviously a certain amount of animosity expressed through this song.  Anyone who has experienced such a similar situation to that expressed here will relate to this fiery expression.  That is especially the case when the noted lyrical content is set against the song’s musical arrangement.  The whole of the elements makes the song in whole among the best of the album’s songs.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here, the likes of ‘Misery,’ ‘The Way Down,’ ‘Puzzle Pieces’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the record proves itself a presentation that the already noted listeners will fully appreciate.

Being that six years have passed between Framing Hanley’s latest album and its 2014 recording The Sum of Who We Are – the band’s then third album – it goes without saying that longtime fans of this band will be glad the wait and wonder about a new album has ended with this record’s release last month.  The album boasts musical arrangements that range from melodic hard rock to a more emo sound and something somewhere in between.  The songs’ lyrical content makes the record even more capable of connecting with the noted listeners just as much as the record’s musical content.  All three of the songs examined here serve to support those statements.  When they are considered along with other songs featured in the album, the whole of those songs makes the record in whole a work that longtime fans will applaud just as much as those less familiar with the band’s work.  Envy is available now.  More information on Envy is available online along with all of Framing Hanley’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/framinghanley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/framinghanley

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

3 thoughts on “Framing Hanley Fans Will Applaud Band’s Return On Its Fourth Album

  1. Pingback: Framing Hanley To Hold Live In-Studio Performance This Afternoon | philspicks

  2. Pingback: Framing Hanley To Re-Issue 2020 Album, ‘Envy’ Next Year; Band Debuts Re-Issue’s Lead Single, Visualizer | philspicks

  3. Pingback: Framing Hanley To Re-Issue 2020 Album, ‘Envy’ Next Year; Band Debuts Re-Issue’s Lead Single, Visualizer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.