A Promise To Burn by Framing Hanley (Silent Majority Group)
Up until recently, Framing Hanley has been best-known for their all-out rockin’ cover of the Lil’ Wayne song Lollipop – a massive hit for this Nashville-based collective that appeared on the re-release of their debut album The Moment. The track definitely gained Framing Hanley a whole new set of fans, yet also placed the pressure on the band to deliver when it came time to write their next album of all-new, original material. A Promise To Burn is that recording, and it’s the stuff that music legends are made of. It’s been too long since a genuine rock record has surfaced, and A Promise To Burn is guaranteed to ignite the masses with its extraordinary collection of anthem-like songs. Not adhering to any particular trends, the music found within is as compelling as it is timeless.
The single You Stupid Girl has already seen the light the day – a moody piece of artistry showing just how serious and committed the band is when it came to unleashing their own brand of material. A far cry from the playful refrains of Lollipop, You Stupid Girl is the perfect follow-up to their mesmerizing first single Hear Me Now from The Moment.
Admittedly, Framing Hanley’s first album was recorded when they were novices – and with A Promise To Burn, the band possesses a dynamic sense of maturity and strength that will get them noticed as a sheer force to reckoned with. It’s an important work for the band, and Framing Hanley deliver the goods with a persuasive sense of urgency.
After a brief Intro, the band burst into the powerhouse strains of The Promise – a mid-tempo rocker that definitely reels the listener in. Then it’s on to Wake Up with its potent guitar interludes and soaring choruses – this one would make another classic choice for a single. The searing inferno of rock continues with the remarkable Bittersweet Sundown and then surges with the all-out arsenal of WarZone, where “Wecome To LA” sounds more like a menacing threat than a promise to burn.
After You Stupid Girl is displayed within the context of the album, the emotionally charged Weight Of The World is presented. Another scorching ballad is simply titled You, filled with a dark complexity showing just how inventive Framing Hanley can be with a slower track.
The most interesting lyric arrives in Back To Go Again, with “this isn’t a song about candy, but we’re still suckers the same” – maybe a reference to their unexpectedly success with Lollipop? Sounds like another potential chart topper for the band – and an autobiographical one at that.
And then as the grand finale commences, the ominous Photographs and Gasoline segues into a dazzling display of rancor and discontent entitled The Burn. “Burn Hollywood to the ground,” vocalist Kenneth Nixon sings with a wondrous sense of passion and fervor, complete with a stellar gang vocal weaving through the robust conclusion. When all is said and done, there is no denying the lasting impression A Promise To Burn will have on any serious fan of rock and roll.
The guitar work is supplied by Brandon Wooten and new member Ryan Belcher, whose dueling axe work is mesmerizing to the senses. Luke McDuffee on bass and Chris Vest on drums provide a striking rhythm section – tighter than hell and dedicated to rocking the listener into oblivion. And then there’s the charismatic Kenneth Nixon, whose haunting vocals convey the thrilling highs and catastrophic lows of the stunning lyrical content. As a unit, the Framing Hanley of 2010 is an unbeatable combination, and has come a long way since their inception back in 2005.
A Promise To Burn is a staggering work from a band destined for a glorious future in rock and roll. Expect this one to pop up on many a Top Ten best of the year list when 2010 comes crashing to an end.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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