90’s worship, but not imitation.
Turnstile is a hardcore band from Baltimore, Maryland and with their debut full-length record, Nonstop Feeling, may have injected a breath of fresh air into the stale hardcore scene. Now, I’ll admit I was not the biggest Turnstile fan when I first heard them, and really only gave this album a chance because it has been hyped so much by local internet hardcore kids that I figured it was worth a shot. They released 2 EP’s, Step 2 Rhythm and Pressure to Succeed, that yielded moderate success, but they were lacking something that I couldn’t put my finger on. Nonstop Feeling found it: FUN.
With first listen of this album you will immediately be hit by a very 90’s style. Rather than hiding from their influences, Turnstile shows them off. Vocalist Brenden Yates, drummer for another Baltimore hardcore band Trapped Under Ice, showcases this with a vocal delivery that rings very similar to Zach De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine. You might also get vibes of 311, P.O.D. , Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with modern hardcore bands like Backtrack, Cold World, and Trapped Under Ice. Drawing from many different influences musically and vocally creates an up tempo, riffy, infectious, and downright groovy listen.
The first single ‘Drop’ comes right out of the gate with Yate’s harsh yell and foot thumping guitar and drum work. Toe tapping then gives way to head nodding as the song shifts from harsh yells to cleaner singing. This formula is sort of Turnstile’s M.O. You’ll get a groovy, infectious riff, followed by spacey, clean vocals. I have to admit, it works.
Personal album highlight comes from the song ‘Blue By You’, the most surf rock soaked track on the record that has little to no hardcore influences on it at all. Lyrically this song is top notch as well with lines such as: “Don’t have to leave to make me feel alone” (I’m a sucker for an emo line here or there.) Along with the track ‘Out of Rage’ which showcases the band’s ability to create an atmospheric build up that explodes during the chorus as Yate’s screams “You’re out of rage."
Conclusion: This record is simple, this record is catchy, this record will have you stomping your foot and swinging your arms, but the best quality this record has is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I can’t remember the last time I had fun listening to a hardcore record, check it out.
by Andy Wilcox