Review Summary: Turnstile keeps hardcore fans "Stepping to Rhythm" with something a little out of the ordinary...
Ever since its inception in the late 70's and early 80's hardcore punk has attracted a large audience of angst filled youth whose volatile energy has fueled the local underground clubs with what seems like an endless supply of bands to keep the genre alive. However while many punks were content with the stock hardcore formula that was shared by most of these bands, others needed something more. This inspired many new styles of hardcore to help morph its sound into an entirely different style than punk rock. Hardcore began to tip more towards the metallic side of the punk spectrum especially in the 90's with bands like Earth Crisis who helped mold the genre into what much of it is today. With so many groups following in each other's footsteps, it's hard for some to seek out diversity with which to sustain their interest. Well, Baltimore based band Turnstile may have what fans have sought out for so long. Fronted by Trapped Under Ice drummer Brendan Yates, Turnstile have a youthful vitality that is somewhat rare amongst modern hardcore bands. They quickly developed a growing fan base with their incredibly animated live performances, soon opening for bands like Backtrack and Title Fight.
Clocking in at nearly 20 minutes, their 2013 extended play, Step 2 Rhythm
, captures all of the band's enthusiasm with channeled melody masked in raw powerful energy. Throughout Step 2 Rhythm
, the music maintains a coherent groove with varying tempos that range from steady and slow paced hooks to frenzied breakdowns. The rhythm section in particular does an excellent job of keeping a steady pace which is complimented by the guitars' driving and heavy riffs. What truly makes Turnstile unique however is underlying hints of positivity in their playing such as on the opening instrumental track “7.”
The positive vibe in the guitars feels invigorating and emboldens energy amongst listeners to a degree that it leaves them defenseless for when transitioning to the more forceful sections of the music. Another strong point is the clean vocal work during choruses on songs like “Keep It Moving”
as well as the title track which add on to the already constructive instrumental work. Brendan Yates not only can sing these melodies well but also performs alterations towards more assertive vocal styles without sounding too forced. Between the simple flow of the songs and the dynamic changes in tempo styles, Turnstile maintains a formula that both appeals to and excites a wide range of listeners.
Overall, Step 2 Rhythm
thinks outside the box without straying too far into musical uncertainty. Turnstile delivers simple and accessible hardcore punk to new fans of the genre or veteran listeners looking to revitalize their interest. All corners of traditional hardcore are covered with room for newer expansive elements that may influence future bands to come. The dynamic vocals and upbeat guitars may be an adjustment for some but these components are dependable on each other for the charm of Turnstile's music to take form. For those who have witnessed their explosive live performances as well as those who haven't, Step 2 Rhythm
is certainly a good investment of time that deserves attention.
-Keep it Moving
-Step 2 Rhythm