ALBUM REVIEW: Framing Hanley – Envy

Release Date: February 21st 2020
Label: Thermal Entertainment
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/framinghanley
Twitter: www.twitter.com/framinghanley

Rating:

Following a three-year long hiatus that ended in 2018, Nashville’s Framing Hanley have returned to the fold with their fourth full-length record, ‘Envy’.

Since their formation back in 2005, Framing Hanley have continued to blow man-sized holes in the rock scene due to their thick, crunchy musical approach.

The oddly titled ‘Bubbles’ is more reflective of chewing stones than blowing flimsy spheres. Courtesy of Ryan Belcher, the track’s guitars speed below Kenneth Nixon‘s vocals, sonically carrying the verses and choruses alike in a blur that spits out fire and shards of glass. Seeming almost effortless, this track has copious veins of style, much like an underground map of character.

‘Joke’s On Us’ is a premature wind-down, bringing the release down to a simmer very early on in its runtime. Electronic undertones and fleshed out choruses welcome a fresh perspective to an otherwise unnervingly anomalous track, and somehow such a deep shift from the vibrance of prior tracks isn’t off-putting. ‘Forgiveness Is An Art’, however, picks that shift right back up again, and ‘Envy’‘s velocity aptly heightens once more.

‘Maeve’ is a shiny feat, with chirpy guitars lining the stomping grounds for Shad Teems‘ drum work. There’s little development as the track plays out; it remains relatively placid and allows for the majority of our focus to be placed on Nixon‘s lyricism, but there’s nothing displeasing about this. The momentary gentleness here, alongside the likes of ‘Carousel’, adds yet another dimension to the release, as ‘Envy’ is far from displaying the mere conventions of a standard rock album.

A gritty effort, ‘Throwing Knives’ kicks its boots against the Nashville streets and chugs through strifes, head down and frustrated. Jonathan Stoyeunderpins the track with a chunky bass line as Nixon winks in his words, lacing the subject matter with a bitter sarcasm. Hot to touch and utterly intoxicating, ‘The Way Down’ weaves an arm around the latter portion of the album and carries it to its end.

‘Baggage Claim’ twinkles ‘Envy’ to its oxymoronic demise, soft in its delivery and gut-wrenching in its content. Framing Hanley have consciously intermingled elements of emotion, salt, and snagging riffs to create a release with undeniable potential. ‘Envy’ is a huge punch of an addition to the band’s catalogue.