Sunday, 4 January 2015

Review: Turnstile - Nonstop Feeling (2015)

  It has already been one of the most talked about records for 2015 since the revelation of first track Gravity and the fans were made even more excited by the release of a video for second track Drop. After having treated us with the EPs Step To The Rhythm and Pressure To Succeed, Baltimore's Turnstile, fronted by hardcore band Trapped Under Ice drummer Brendan Yates, are finally releasing their first studio album Nonstop Feeling, expected to come out on January 13th. I am one of those people who are already in love with the band but the teaser tracks have been hinting at slight changes in style which must be investigated.

  As previously mentioned, Gravity and Drop are the first two tracks on the album; both were greeted with mixed reactions. Gravity is groovy with a fairly simple, although in my opinion still catchy, main guitar riff, which I find reminiscent of a song called Independent by Dog Eat Dog spin-off band All Boro Kings. The verses have a bit of a Downset feel about them and the chorus has a hint of 311, especially in the way "It's just the gravity" is being sung. All in all, it has a bit of a Leeway feel, which is what I already liked about the band. Drop starts thrashy and then slips into a groove for the rest of the track with barely any other lyrics. We get more of a 311 echo-style singing. I think this is what is dividing opinion on this record. There's a hardcore record! SHOCK HORROR! And yes...I am relating it to 311 because a) that's the only band I can think of that has vocals exactly like that and b) I love that band!
  When listening to the rest of the album, you realise that this definitely isn't a typical hardcore record nor is it just a repetition of the first 2 tracks. Although the album still runs along the groove driven, rapcore-ish hc, there's still a mix. Fazed Out and Bad Wave are heavy and more traditionally hardcore with heavy riffs and "mosh" parts , similar to bands like short lived Inside Out (fronted by a pre-RATM Zack de la Rocha), with less of the "singing". Can't Deny It and Bring It Back are also both heavy and danceable. They both lean slightly more towards the style of crossover that we can hear in Leeway albums like Adult Crash and Desperate Measures. Bring It Back also has a bit of a Stuck Mojo vibe about it. Both include the "echoed" singing as mentioned before, but the chorus of Can't Deny It sounds so much like 311 that one could think frontman Nick Hexum is actually guesting on vocals. he? Same thing goes for second shortest track on the record Blue By You. Where on earth did this baby come from? Not to be mistaken for a cover of Roy Orbison's Blue Bayou, this basically sounds like a melodic pop punk song...sung by Nick Hexum. It's short, it's energetic and somehow both sweet and haunting at the same time. This, along with penultimate track Love Lasso (a slow and almost country sounding instrumental), are the odd ones out on this record and feel like album fillers. Love Lasso even has an organ part! Beach Temple is also instrumental but at least somewhat keeps in with the more typical Turnstile sound.
  Addicted is the album's no holds barred thrashy hardcore punk track. It zooms along, making you bang your head as Brendan (or maybe someone else...doesn't quite sound like him) sings stuff like "Give it to me! Give it to me right now!", eventually ending in a good old "medium heavy" beatdown. Out Of Rage and album closer Stress could be considered by many as the real rap-metal/nu-metal tracks on the record. One would think a song with the word "rage" in the title would not necessarily sound anything like Rage Against The Machine but this does. Starting off more like the later Leeway stuff, the chorus is full on RATM, which in my book is not a bad thing. Stress is a really good mix, with 2 stepping parts and hip hop grooves which could create dance battles at shows (just imagine!..) It's very heavy on the old guitar harmonics which sounds awesome on first listen but could get annoying.  

1. Gravity
2. Drop
3. Fazed Out
4. Can’t Deny It
5. Bleach Temple
6. Bad Wave
7. Blue By You
8. Out Of Rage
9. Bring It Back
10. Addicted
11. Love Lasso
12. Stress

For those who already like Turnstile, this not an album to be ignored. For those more into pure tough guy and beatdown hardcore, you should listen to this...but you're probably not going to like it. For anyone who has ever liked any rap metal/rapcore/nu-metal/whatever you wish to call it, this is definitely worth checking out. For a 12 track album, it really doesn't seem all that much longer than each of their Eps. Despite the fact I still think it's just album filler, Blue By You is a stand out track for me because it literally (albeit not physically, for all you grammar lovers) does stand out. Can't Deny It and Stress also make it as my favourites on the record. Is it one of the most groundbreaking records ever, maybe not...but at least they've got the balls to experiment. 

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