TITLE: TIME & SPACE
LABEL: ROADRUNNER RECORDS
Turnstile have waltzed the wave of their debut LP Nonstop Feeling for three mind-bending years, but now it is finally here.
When an album is set free upon the world, thoughts already turn to what comes next. In what direction will the sound steer? How will the package present itself? How will this translate to a live performance? So many questions have been stewing in hardcore punk’s ravenous insides, and Turnstile are here to satiate us with 25 minutes of flavoursome treats.
“Turnstile have breathed new life into the cultural sphere…”
All planetary systems are go from the first licks of opening hymn ‘’Real Thing.’’ The lead single is a mob riot that will solicit elation and carnage from the unruly congregation in equal measures. Be sure to read the liner notes when your pre-order lands, as frontman Brendan Yates oozes a sincere and almost sonnet like sequence of lyrics, demonstrating that the reigning champions of funk punk showcase substance as well as sound.
The short and sweet ‘’Big Smile’’ harkens back to old school punk motifs. The speed and simplicity of the chords would not sound out of place on a release from straight edge genre peers Insted, Mindset and Chain of Strength . Clearly, whilst Turnstile have breathed new life into the cultural sphere, they are not afraid to give a solemn nod to the forefathers of the art that they love so dearly.
For those who kept a keen eye on the prelude to the record release, promotional single ‘’Generator’’ is instantly recognizable. This song is not a departure from earlier releases by any means, which is testament to their careful confidence in fine tuning their masterful craft. Followers seeking a sound disconnected from Nonstop Feeling will not find it here.
A recurring but nonetheless enriching element of Turnstile songs is the inclusion of contrasting segments intertwined between songs. ‘’Bomb’’ is a smooth and stylish interlude which perfectly encapsulates the approach that Turnstile have taken to Time & Space – one without constraint on genre labels and expectations. Turnstile have rampaged through a theme park of sound and are controlling all the rides.
” if the beats of this punky nod to slap bass funk aren’t swaying you to your very core, it leads us to beg the question – Are we listening to the same record, or are you lacking a soul?”
‘’Bomb’’ seamlessly transitions into bass driven melodic jam ‘’I Don’t Wanna Be Blind’’ before detonating into a furious and anthemic chorus , not dissimilar to ‘’Out Of Rage’’ on the last record. It’s cool to see Turnstile re imagining familiar territory in a new dimension. At this point in the album, if the beats of this punky nod to slap bass funk aren’t swaying you to your very core, it leads us to beg the question – Are we listening to the same record, or are you lacking a soul?
At the halfway point, the delights of Time & Space have already cemented a classic. This point in a record can be dangerous territory for some bands, and all too often, albums can decline into a monotonous sequence of fillers. For Time and Space though, it’s all thrillers. ‘’High Pressure’’ is another fast one, and the riveting keyboards will grant the listener a smile from ear to ear. ‘’(Lost Another) Piece of My World’’ opens with a primitive drum before bursting into a sporadic sonic experience that will surely be a live favourite.
The drum production distinguishes itself from the last record. In Nonstop Feeling, we saw drums wielding had a thick and pedal focused sound. In Time & Space, drum master Daniel Fang lends the record a tighter drum sound which cracks like a whip and will no doubt be a hallmark of 2018 sound engineering. Producer Will Yip already has an all star collection of releases to speak of including efforts from Title Fight, Superheaven and The Wonder Years. Time & Space will no doubt be a highlight of his work. ’Can’t Get Away’’ incorporates psychedelic guitar tones which preface one of the most dynamic examples of Turnstile mastery. For those who embrace the primal chaos of the pit – you have been warned.
The fact that ‘’Moon’’ has been carefully incorporated this late in the album reminds the listener that the wizardry will not stop until Turnstile say it stops. Bassist ‘’Freaky’’ Franz Lyons has contributed his silky smooth vocal delivery before, but never so generously as in ‘’Moon.’’ The unrivalled energy and charm of this album focal point speaks for itself, and ‘’Moon’’ will be a stand out number in their already immensely rich setlist. The fact that Turnstile have too many favourites to choose from is a very good problem to have. We were treated to an earlier rendition of ‘’Come Back For More – H.O.Y.’’ On Turnstile’s last E.P. Now that the two songs have been cemented together and fine tuned, the added cohesion is a more than worthwhile addition.
By the time we reach Track 11, ‘’Right to Be’’ offers no surprises, only a continuation of the boisterous spirit we have already been graced with. With ‘’Disco’’ we understand that Turnstile haven’t lost their sense of humour.
The conclusion to your favourite hardcore release of the year is the title track. This is a fitting end to a journey of white hot wizardry that could be conjured only from only years of diligent craftsmanship, second to none musicianship and above all, a bonafide intent to change the game. This is magic.
WORDS: DON SPENCER