There’s been a fair bit of brouhaha in the run up to this release. I mean, even the NME have shoved their oar in. Something must be afoot.
The nucleus of the hysteria seems to surround the fact that Hörde’s stock is a marked withdrawal from vocalist Frank Turner’s ‘Summer 2012′ output, and folk just don’t know what to make of it.
Way I see it, cunt’s got an incredible vocal range, and it’s common knowledge that both he and drummer Ben Dawson cut their teeth to this shit many moons ago with Kneejerk. Their collaboration again, this time with Sleeping Souls’ Matt Nasir (dude’s got a wiki) on axe duty, is enough of a rose-tint for me.
So I figured it’d be a good idea to dilute my immediate bias for this LP by inviting another opinion, and so as to represent both sides equally, said opinion should come from an admirer of Frank’s Sleeping Souls moonlighting to fill the void in my current affairs locker.
My friend’s niece is a devotee, and at the tender age of nineteen, has racked up a double-digit F.T.&.T.S.S gig count, which is worthy of kudos (although her last gig was Lorde, she tells me). She’s also contemplating a Sleeping Souls tattoo, and as someone who has spent most of their life trying to scrape the funds together to get a Million Dead lyric etched into their skin, I’m grateful for the kindred element we share here.
[SPOILER: My co-host was unsure of the credibility of this publication, so her name has been changed to Sophia. Generalising her opinions as reflective of those of all Sleeping Souls fans is inadvisable.]
“Make way for the Mongol Horde, coming back to fuck you up!”
Sophia So what’s this album like then? I haven’t heard of Mongol Horde before…
James McDonald Really? Well, it’s Frank Turner’s new band… actually they’ve been going for a little while now in various forms.
Sophia Oh, wow! I heard he was doing a new band soon, I think they’re playing Reading.
James McDonald Right…
Sophia Great, this should be good… ah, okay, this song’s groovy, kinda jazz sounding…
Sophia Erm, okay, I wasn’t expecting that… Is that him, are you sure?
James McDonald Yeah, I’m sure.
Sophia Woah… okay. Is it all like this?
James McDonald Maybe, I haven’t heard it all yet…
Sophia He sounds really pissed off… Seriously angry… Yeah, this is a joke. I don’t believe you *Googles
Weighed And Found Wanting
“You’re still a fucking weasel”
James McDonald I can’t make out much of this…
Sophia Yeah, he’s shouting a lot.
James McDonald No, I mean the vocals are back in the mix because it’s all about the riff. That drop C in the chorus man.. This was recorded at Jay Malhotra/Sam Duckworth’s studio. Amazing Grace.
Sophia I’m not sure I’m really into this…
James McDonald Give it time
“Natalie Portman’s tapeworm had a sudden and very unexpected change of heart: He said ‘this indie-chick schtick is no longer floating my wick, I think I need a fresh start.’ So he detached himself quietly from the wall of her large intestine and made his way out through the usual exit, and in the bold light of day he heard himself say ‘Hollywood is not quiet how I expected.'”
Sophia Actually, that’s a cool sound…
James McDonald It’s called ‘slapback’…
Sophia OK… Man, I wish I was Natalie Portman… She’s probably my favourite American actress.
James McDonald Natalie Portman is Israeli.
Sophia What? No she’s not! Anyway, she really pretty, don’t you think she’s hot?
James McDonald She probably has a lot of problems…
Sophia Yeah, but everyone has problems… plus she’s loaded! What’s your favourite movie of her’s?
James McDonald Wasn’t she in Mars Attacks?
Sophia I don’t think so… Black Swan is my favourite!
James McDonald We should probably talk about the track some more…
Sophia Well, I liked the start, but now I can’t really make out what Frank’s signing, plus the chorus is really heavy… it’s all really heavy and loud.
James McDonald And you don’t really seem to like the heavier parts…
Sophia It’s mostly heavier parts! I like the ‘true love’ bit at the end though.
Casual Threats From Weekend Hardmen
“Once more with less coherence”
James McDonald So this track’s about pisshead bravado… have you ever come across any pissheads on nights out?
Sophia We’re the pissheads on nights out!
James McDonald No, I mean groups of lads acting all macho, y’know?
Sophia Oh, yeah, umm… I saw a guy punch someone while he was holding a kebab once… near Boxpark… It was a total waste of food!
James McDonald Chili sauce to the retina seems like a good defensive strategy…
Sophia Not really, the guy’s mates kicked the shit out of the pisshead… he was already covered in garlic sauce but they made sure to leave him covered in blood.
James McDonald Did he have a napkin?
James McDonald What do you think of this track? It was a single…
Sophia I can see why it was a single, the chorus has a good bounce… but most of it is too fast and I can’t really focus…
James McDonald have you ever smoked weed?
Sophia Yeah, once at Field Day… I didn’t really like it. The ‘woo’ bit in this song is the best bit.
Staff To The Refund Counter
“God gave me consciousness but he never mentioned why. What’s the use in living long if we’re all condemned to die? Humbled in hospitals, I have seen the bitter end; everyone will die alone deserted by their friends. I want it back.”
Sophia OK, so at least this song starts off quieter, you can hear what he’s singing this time, but now the lyrics are really heavy! He’s talking about dying…
James McDonald The inevitability of death is pure terrifying at times.
Sophia What? You’re being heavy… and now the music’s super heavy again! Frank wants his money back… GIVE HIM HIS MONEY BACK!
James McDonald He only deals in rainbows. This song’s actually a retort to Jessie J’s ‘Pricetag’. Sophia Ah, that song’s THE BEST!! Erm, is there a slow track on this record?
The Yurt Locker
James McDonald This one’s less hectic…
Sophia Okay, this is nice… bit of piano… oh, where’d it go? More piano! It just faded away… that was too short, it was lush!
James McDonald Next track’s called…
“Born a little early, wasn’t what she wanted at all… She was stillborn.”
Sophia This is a good start…
James McDonald gotta love a fine rhyme…
Sophia Then it goes loud really quickly… it was like Sleeping Souls for about five seconds, then it gets loud… but… I like the chorus about unicorns, oh it’s kinda catchy.
James McDonald I think the chorus is about stillbirth…
Sophia But he’s singing about unicorns too, and ponies. This part is good as well…
James McDonald It’s a middle eight…
Sophia OK, whatever… ‘she’s a uuuuuuunnnnnnniiiiiiiiicorn!’…
James McDonald …then a coda of pure sludge.
Sophia What? Don’t understand what you’re saying, but the ending’s ruined it for me…
Winky Face: The Mark Of A Moron
“Basically, if you can’t make your meaning plain with all the richness of the English language and you have to resort to cartoon faces made with punctuation marks you’re a dick.”
James McDonald Which Frank Turner lyric did you say you wanted tattooed again?
Sophia Erm, I haven’t actually decided yet… it’s between two. It won’t be from this album though, I can’t make out what he’s shouting most of the time…. oh… Hey, everyone uses emoticons, that’s a bit harsh…
James McDonald I heard an urban myth that the day an emoticon makes it into the OED, Michael Jackson himself would vote UKIP.
Sophia Politics is boring. I bet Frank’s used an emoticons once or twice, doesn’t he have phone?
James McDonald Do you have a Morrisey t-shirt?
“You’re a fucking charlatan (not the band).”
Sophia HAHA, I always think of the band when I hear that word! That was funny! What was their song again?
“Your problem is you’re all cunts, and while you put up an impressive front of understanding the ways of the world (or maybe even having slept with a girl), yeah, the truth is I can see right through, because I used to be just like you back when I was an adolescent.
But since then I’ve learned a couple of lessons; that your intentions are beside the point. It’s the outcome of your actions that count.
If your intentions are pure when you fuck me I’ll still get the STDs.”
Sophia Too fast! Too loud!
James McDonald Noticing a pattern… that chorus is huge
Sophia Did he just say ‘cunt’?
James McDonald Yeah I think so…
Sophia I really hate that word. Do you think they have to put ‘parental guidance’ on the front of the CD?
James McDonald I guess they’d have to at some point.
How The Communists Ruined Christmas
“Gather ’round children, I have a secret to tell… I know you’ve followed me faithfully this far, but the secret is, well… You must have known that I was joking? That I was taking the piss? You all claim that I’m a genius, but a genius would never want this.”
Sophia I don’t think communists ruined Christmas really, I still like it.
James McDonald What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
Sophia Loads! I get to wear my knitted jumper, my friends all share pictures of their Xmas dinners’ on Instagram and Facebook… PRESENTS!
“And little Vladamir, and little Jospeh, little Fidel, and little Mao… and little Che, they all realised they looked like dickheads, and everything that they built is now slipping away”
Sophia Who’s chairman Mao again?
James McDonald He’s a mass murderer. Hey, did you ever listen to Million Dead?
James McDonald [inaudible]
James McDonald I was just wondering…
James McDonald Matt’s having a Cam moment. Nevermind. Two songs left…
Sophia OK, what’s the next one called?
Blistering Blue Barnacles
“I am the captain of this ship and I will be obeyed, and if you’re not on the bridge then you’re a galley slave”
James McDonald I’m pretty sure this is a Pulled Apart By Horses cover.
Sophia Who do you think would win in a fight between Frank Turner and Simon Neil?
James McDonald Oh, right. Well Frank seems pretty sure of his convictions on this track. Chorus is big… maybe it’s a Jetplane cover… Erm, I’m sure if they were both captains they would just share their booty equally.
James McDonald That wasn’t actually funny… I just meant they’d divide the seas.
Sophia No, it wasn’t very funny. You’re very serious, this album’s very serious too… are you serious because you listen to this kind of music a lot?
James McDonald You could be onto something there… but I think Möngöl Hörde are pretty tongue in cheek… like, using the metal umlaut… Also the reprise at the end of this song…
Sophia This is a weird sound…
“Paul McCartney and John Lennon came back from a different future armed with notebooks filled up with songs stolen from kids who now stay at home.”
Sophia Right, oh, he’s singing about The Beatles now?
James McDonald Yeah, kind of… he’s suggesting Keith Richards is a T1000
Sophia What, why?
James McDonald I think it’s something to do with liberating a generation of kids stifled of creativity…
James McDonald …or maybe he’s recently re-read ‘Catcher in the Rye’?
Sophia I haven’t read that book… Ha, he’s telling Paul McCartney to watch his back!
James McDonald Paul McCartney has a small arsenal watching his back.
Sophia I like the jangly guitar…
James McDonald Yeah, he’s used a sweet loop there… reckon it would run nicely into ‘Arming Eritrea’…
James McDonald Nevermind. Right, thats it… So what are your thoughts after all of that?
Sophia I’d probably give it 4/10 stars… It’s not really my thing, I wouldn’t buy it… but if they put it on Spotify I might play that unicorn song to some of my friends.
James McDonald I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it…
Sophia That’s ok. Do you think he’ll be doing this band for long?
James McDonald Erm…
OK, Sophia isn’t real. She exists neither as an alias nor a human being (though, to be fair, I’d be genuinely surprised if you made it this far on my half-baked rouse). She’s a generalisation, a cliché, a myth used by former fans of Turner’s work to add weight to a fallacy that he’s sold out, lost his way, let us down. This is bollocks. Having toured every toilet venue in the UK, he’s pulled himself up to play the most. ridiculous. shows.
Then he won Mastermind, Iron Maiden as his specialist subject.
Next? He starts a fucking hardcore band with two of his best mates, taking it right back to where it all began. He’s kept it real, he’s earned his keep.
Imagine being that guy. Imagine being candid in every word you wrote, note you sang, throat you rendered hoarse because people paid to see a show. Imagine every cunt having an opinion because you released a few albums other people went out and bought.
Don’t torrent this record on Monday, learn the lyrics, then show up at the summer shows with a sense of self-importance because you were there all along, from the start, man.