Album Review - Turnstile: “Time & Space”

Influenced by 90’s brit-pop, jazz, psychedelia and everything in between, “Time & Space” showcases Turnstile’s genre crossing hardcore-thrash-skate punk at its best. It even features Diplo.

Turnstile have always been one of “those” new wave hardcore bands who a lot of people used to get into this blood pumping and passionate type of music (myself included) and when they announced this album I was nothing short of excited. Nonstop Feeling was short but raw and aggressive enough for me to fall in love from one listen, despite clearly wearing its influences on it’s sleeve. After an intense 3 year touring cycle and some downtime to write and record, Turnstile have evolved their sound and style to create their second album, “Time & Space”. Comparing the two albums, you can already tell how much the band have grown when thinking about creative songwriting and producing a consistent record since 2015.

Even though Time & Space only clocks in at just over 26 minutes in length, there’s something here for everyone who has listened to the band through their 8 year career. From the straight up brutal punk classics (“Big Smile”, “Time And Space”) to the keyboard-wielding thrashers (“High Pressure”) and tracks that walk the tightrope between hardcore and the quite frankly supernatural (“Moon”, “Generator”, “Can’t Get Away”). Styles and influenced have been melted together that don’t stick out strangely or absurdly on any song here. The production on this record is perfected from instrument to instrument, but what else would you expect from mastermind producer Will Yip. Having assisted on critically acclaimed albums such as Code Orange’s Grammy nominated “Forever”, all of Citizen’s and Turnover’s albums and many, many more, Yip has managed to put Turnstiles vision of what they missed on Nonstop Feeling and push the band in a more engaging and unique direction. “Right To Be” also features additional production from mastermind DJ Diplo, and it shows through the intense range and definition in singer Brendan Yates’s  voice. 

As with any record, even one as punishingly good as this, they’ll always be some ups and some downs. “Moon” features Sheer Mag’s Tina Halliday and bassist Franz Lion’s singing harmonies together which creates for an interesting feel, but doesn’t push any musical boundaries like some other tracks on here. The two interludes, “Disco” and “Bomb” (the second being the much better one) have been added to give the record space to breathe and let the aggression rest before picking back up and punching you in the face, but feel like they’ve been thrown in just to show a contrast as of their short length and underdeveloped themes. If both of these tracks were 2 minutes longer, I might not find myself skipping them on every listen. 

Some bands crumble under the weight of their second album but the Baltimore 5 piece have risen out of a possible sophomore slump and crafted a consistent 13-track powerhouse. Turnstile have had an extensive history listening to hardcore and punk and playing in many different bands (see Trapped Under Ice, Angel Du$t and more) which only contributes to how skilled they are at blending and fusing so many styles of rock. This album was made to make the listener dive into the nearest mosh pit and scream at the top of of their lungs while swinging around every limb at anything and everything. So much thought and feeling has gone into this record that I’m not sure their career can go anywhere but up from here, even with the few duds in small places this release contains. 2018 is the year for hardcore to take centre stage, and Turnstile are one band on point to take the crown.

9/10

Best Tracks: Real Thing, I Don’t Wanna Be Blind, High Pressure, Can’t Get Away, Right To Be, Time And Space
Worst Tracks: Bomb, Moon, Disco

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