Release Date: 23rd February 2018
Label: Roadrunner Records
Genre: Hardcore Punk
2018 has been a year of boom and bust in terms of new releases. Albums seem to garner a massive amount of hype before fizzling out disappointingly quickly, leaving few with a sustained media push. However, five plucky hardcore guys from Baltimore managed to effortlessly buck this trend with the release of their sophomore Time & Space.
Not many bands from this scene have such far-reaching appeal as Turnstile. From what has traditionally been a notoriously insular genre, the boys have managed to expand their sound into a totally unique place while never losing their edge or alienating fans. Taking cues from classic alt-rock, fusing it with skate punk fury and injecting a real sense of fun and positivity, the band have crafted a party record for the ages. From the feel-good bounce of ‘Real Thing’ to the irresistible mosh anthem ‘Right To Be’, Turnstile have captured a celebratory vibe so infectious that even outlets with no interest in heavy music have been forced to sit up and take notice.
Of course, the riffs are still out in force, look no further than ‘Generator’ for an instant pit-starter, but this time they’re tempered with a silkiness that feels totally original and wonderfully refreshing. Perhaps the biggest moment on Time & Space comes in the form ‘Moon’, a hyperspeed singalong by bassist Franz with a chorus so uplifting and infectious that it seems fit to burst from the confines of the album and fly off into outer space. Similar to NYHC legends Sick Of It All, the band have embraced and cultivated a strong community feel amongst their fanbase, aiming to make their shows a bright, fun and inclusive affair. In a world where every other band is trying to be tougher and more confrontational than the last, it’s invigorating to hear lyrics about love and good-vibes along with rock music that just makes you want to dance.
In terms of gripes there are very few, in fact, it’s tempting to say that Time & Space will be looked back upon as an all-time great. Besides a few more immediate cuts, the record doesn’t reveal itself instantly to the listener and takes a few consistent listens to allow it to get its hooks in. Once past that point, however, it’s easy to find yourself smashing it on repeat as the 25-minute runtime blasts by with perfect pacing and blistering intensity. Compared to 2015’s Non-Stop Feeling, the guitars have a far less metallic edge which may turn some older fans off, but the open-minded will get far more out of the tones and unique, almost surf rock riffing style that gives the album it’s charm. The production feels organic, relying on wild performances and prominent midrange instead of compression for sonic punch, lending a classic, dynamic flavour to the release. Furthermore, Brendan Yates’ distinct yelp takes on a variety of melodic incarnations which only adds to the record’s feverish energy and catchy brilliance, while the inclusion of world percussion and piano showcases a leap in quality and extra appeal for new listeners.
With their latest release, Turnstile have achieved the impossible for a band from this scene. They’ve opened themselves up to a wider audience while creating a true hardcore record that slams so hard you’d struggle to find a punk who can’t vibe with it. Any accusation of “sell-out” feels completely ridiculous at this point (not that anyone was really saying that in the first place) and the increase in people watching has grown purely through consistency, hard work and non-stop touring. In what is revealing itself to be a golden age for modern hardcore, Turnstile have proved themselves to be one of the very best, and with still gathering momentum they look ready to become a true force in modern rock music.
Recommended Track: ‘Moon’