Hardcore is a genre often known for consistency. When new bands break through, it’s hard to not stick them into a category like youth crew or beatdown, and bands who stray from this are often thought of as “not really hardcore”.
This is what makes Turnstile such an incredible anomaly.
Produced by Will Yip, who helped create career-defining albums for bands like Code Orange and Title Fight, Turnstile’s second full-length record Time & Space fuses undeniable elements of hardcore with clear influences drawn from alternative, pop, R&B, and countless other genres.
On Time & Space, Turnstile pushes the boundaries of hardcore beyond expectations. There are moments that are straight-up hardcore, fast and in-your-face with a pure sense of urgency and reminders that, no matter how much the band grows they will always hold onto their roots. Vocalist Brendan Yates shouts out, “They want to take/My right to be” on “Right to Be”, a hard hitting track with co-production by Diplo. “(Lost Another) Piece Of My World” and “Can’t Get Away” are back-to-back tracks that are bound to be crowdpleasers, two of the most traditionally “hardcore” tracks on the album. The combination of relatable lyrics like “I learned/That what I give is what I get in return” and “Can’t get away/From my-self” with flawlessly written mosh parts is exactly what makes Turnstile so great, the music is accessible without losing intrigue or excitement.
Where Turnstile really shines, however, is in the genre-bending tracks like “Moon”, which includes harmonies from Sheer Mag vocalist Tina Halladay, and the soft instrumental “Disco”. “Big Smile” starts off like a traditional ‘80s hardcore song, eventually moving seamlessly towards an alternative ‘90s sound. The band fuses soul, R&B, psychedelia, rap, and rock in a post-genre approach to hardcore which they’ve been moving towards throughout their career. Tracks like “Generator” feel airy and lean towards psychedelia without losing the punch that the album packs. “I Don’t Wanna Be Blind” is another one that pushes the boundaries, Turnstile reverting back to the roots of hardcore in the punk-influenced track.
Interestingly, it’s this utter uniqueness that’s allowed them to rise to forefront of a genre where many bands can’t break through. Even their tours are unique, hitting the road with post-hardcore vets Touché Amore and pop-punk heavyweights The Story So Far. Their dynamic approach to hardcore has allowed Turnstile to reach mainstream heights, following in the footsteps of Grammy-nominated labelmates Code Orange. Time & Space shows growth and innovation for Turnstile, and perhaps where the future of hardcore is headed.
Hardcore | Roadrunner Records