Frames Burn the Maps

Listening to this first North American release from the revered Dublin quartet, it’s clear that what has made Irish bands great is that they are able to venture into any genre and fuse it with their inborn sense of drama. The Frames may not be that far removed from other international "new Coldplays,” such as Snow Patrol or our own Pilate, but they seem to have a more natural grasp of the fragile aspects of their sound. The prime example is how deftly they can build "Dream Awake” from barely a whisper to a raging symphonic storm. It’s also apparent from songs like "A Caution To The Birds,” that these guys are well-versed in the dark, twisted Americana populated by the likes of Will Oldham and Sparklehorse. But it’s that time-tested Irish melancholy that inevitably dominates the album, adding a deeper meaning to even the most straightforward songs, such as the anthemic spurned lover track "Fake.” With the bulk of Burn The Maps living up to this high standard, it’s entirely possible they could be the next big Irish band to hit these shores. (Anti)