Review Summary: There's a fever burning up in me...
Music. Ever since the dawn of time mankind has been drawn to the sounds of voices echoing choruses, instruments piecing together piercing melodies and revelational lyrics that bring us closer to God, our environment and to ourselves. Whether in moments of somber reflection or joyous celebration, music has resonated with us and helped us channel our deepest emotions. Throughout my life, I’ve been attracted to music that’s drawn me to different perspectives of life and has brewed sensations and imagery that I didn’t know I could feel or imagine. Most of all, I’ve been attracted to musicians who could communicate the emotions I feel so intertwined with through song. Whether it be the angsty confusion of a naive adolescent, the uncertain future of an overburdened adult in the wide chasm of the modern world or the somber reflections of a man’s drawn out past while at the gates of mortality, music has been a catalyst for expression and empathy. Every so often I’ve been blessed with stumbling upon a record that has so directly encapsulated the ethos of why I listen to music and fills an endless craving that I tirelessly long for. This year I’ve found such a record.
Turnover are a Rock band from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Forming in 2009, the outfit began as a run-of-the-mill pop punk band grinding out music, vigorously touring dive bars and clubs trying to make a break on a perpetually crowded music scene. With a few tweaks in sound and technique, the band released their second full length LP entitled Peripheral Visions in May, hoping to finally break through and leave a mark on critics and listeners alike, and boy have they done that.
Reminiscent of bands like Minus the Bear and American Football, Turnover have littered this record with plenty of technical guitar hooks that jumps at the listener’s ears. Whether the slow buildup of the opening track Cutting My Fingers Off, the soothing strums on Humming or the upbeat jamming on Take My Head, the reverb wielding quartet deliver in spades catchy melodies that brings character and atmosphere to each track.
Paired with this musicianship are the heartfelt and gut-wrenching lyrics from lead singer Austin Getz. Complementary to Stephan Jenkins sorrowful admissions on Third Eye Blind’s Self Titled Record, Getz dives head first into this record, mercilessly opening up his soul, tearing up old wounds, bearing all past regrets and grudges to the listener. Channeling feelings of deep depression on New Scream (“Can I stay at home, I don’t want to go, I don’t to want to wake up until the sun is hanging low. Stay out through the night, sleep away the light, just another dream I have that’s better than my life") I couldn’t help but have reflections to my sophomore year in College when I was experiencing extreme depression, skipping classes, sleeping most of the day, forfeiting to failure and thinking my dreams were better than reality.
Similarly, the track Hello Euphoria also resonated profoundly with me. Having dealt with weight issues, drastically losing weight in my College days thinking that would solve my depression issues but being helplessly lost without an answer, lines like “Thinner at the waist line, I feel thinner at the waist line, I’m getting old in the face but every day there’s another new line” left me cathartically reevaluating my past. I have no idea what Getz had in mind when he penned these lyrics, what past events or creative force caused him to come up with these combination of words, but the beauty of art and music is that interpretation is in the eyes of the beholder and I was able to find a deeper meaning within myself and my own experiences. Even rebellious anthems like Take My Head have become a personal banner song after ending a 3 year relationship with the woman I thought I would spend the rest of my life with and reentering the dating scene with rage and confusion: “It’s the worst in the summer, those happy songs on the radio, and all the pretty girls and perfect weather, all make me want to know who really cares”. Even then, songs like “I Would Hate You if I Could” remind me to stay humble.
I never heard of Turnover until 2 months ago and now I feel such an affectionate bond with the band, their songs and this album. That's the power of music. While I traverse the music landscape, I find quick satisfaction with a new band with a catchy riff or a unique vocalist, but like a one night stand my musical thirst is left unquenched. Records like Peripheral Vision have not only let me sink my teeth deeply into them for its musical qualities but have gifted me with a sense of peace and closure with my own personal demons; and at the end of the day, how could a record be any more rewarding than to leave a positive permanent mark on myself?