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Million Dead - A Song to Ruin

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 7 / 10 / 2009



Million Dead - A Song to Ruin
Label: Xtra Mile
Format: CD

intro

Remastered double CD reissue of the debut album of hardcore band Million Dead, acclaimed punk-folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner's original band, which despite only being released in 2003 already seems dated


Like probably a great many bands, punk outfit Million Dead gathered a relatively small but passionate following before going their separate ways in 2005. Now their début album has been re-released by Xtra Mile Recordings –where their erstwhile frontman Frank Turner now plies his punk-infused folk trade. 'A Song to Ruin' does offer an explanation as to why many people had high hopes for Million Dead. But this album was recorded while most of the band were young and idealistic and boy does it show. Musically it sounds great, with thundering hardcore guitar lines and Turner's alternatively sung then screamed lyrics. No one could accuse this band of shirking in any arena (although of course Million Dead would probably have regard an arena tour as a horrific sellout). But 'A Song to Ruin' also seems very dated. Raging and apparently heartfelt attacks on topics such as lads magazines' attitudes to women ('Pornography for Cowards') may be just as relevant politically today but still feel strangely dated for musical subject matter. And there's a huge gulf between Turner's current witty approach to polemicising and the screaming rage of much of this album. It occasionally feels like being bashed over the head by a very intelligent but rather opinionated young man; hardcore punk for the 'Guardian'-reading set if you like. 'A Song to Ruin' is not a bad album. It genuinely shows a talented band giving it their all and it is likely to be well received among many old and new fans. But you can't go back, and the more interesting area – for this reviewer at least – is what these people did next.



Track Listing:-
1 Pornography for Cowards
2 Breaking the Back
3 I Am the Party
4 Charlie + the Propaganda Myth Machine
5 A Song to Ruin
6 Smiling at Strangers on Trains
7 Macgyver
8 Relentless
9 The Kids Are Going to Love It
10 The Rise and Fall



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live reviews


Lock 17, London, 17/4/2006
Million Dead - Lock 17, London,  17/4/2006
Never afraid to show his influences, former Million Dead frontman Frank Turner incorporates both country/folk numbers and also acoustic anthemic rockers. Dan Cressey enjoys an energetic, but short set at London's Lock 17
West End Centre, Aldershot, 31/7/2004
Brickyard, Carlisle, 18/4/2004


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