Turnstile - GLOW ON - Track By Track Review

Ville S. Music Reviews

For the friends of: Refused, Cold World, Minority Unit
Genre: hardcore punk, alternative rock, experimental rock
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): 'Blackout', 'Holiday', and 'New Heart Design' 
Emoji: 👽
Random words: city

The third full-length album is sounding definitely like 'Turnstile' but they are still experimenting much more than previously. Musically they don't meet 'Refused' very closely, but there is still very much the same spirit in their music. Both are strongly coming from the hardcore scene but doing their own thing, experimenting and trying stuff and surprising the listeners while sounding extra tight. 'Turnstile' is an absolutely interesting band and it's hard to come up with anything that sounds exactly like them. This is definitely one of their strengths. One example is to include 'Blood Orange' as a featuring artist. It's pretty rare to see an R&B singer featuring in a hardcore album.

Track by track review:

One of the proofs that 'Turnstile' is not an ordinary hardcore band. The track is pretty catchy with clear vocal melodies and simple riff and structure. The whole soundscape has a strong connection to 90's alternative scene sounding something like 'Faith No More', 'Jane's Addiction' or 'Melvins' but with a fresh touch. And while sounding something from the '90s the song also sounds a lot like 'Turnstile'. 

The change is pretty radical to the opening track but this is what 'Turnstile' is known for. The tracks can be very different but still, they support each other and do not sound too weird. The beat is brilliant and a good example of what small details can do. When the beat hits there is the small electric drum pad used which creates a great groove to the otherwise basic beat. When the chorus starts it's hard to keep your head still, I promise. The bridge after the chorus with only the beat sounds just so great with few percussions added. The whole structure of the song with the simple beat down in the end, as well as the "jungle" ending, is a perfect example of why 'Turnstile' is one of the most interesting hardcore/rock bands at the moment. One of my favorite tracks of the album

'Don't Play'
Well, this one is a weird one. After the short burst of punk rock, the beat takes a turn towards a combination of hardcore riffs and some kind of dancehall or Latin drum beat. Later there is a piano melody coming in and some percussions which highlight the Latin vibe even more. To be honest, I have never heard anything like this, so need to give respect for coming up with something like this. But same time I am not a huge fan of this track. I just can't decide what I am listening and what to think about it.

'Underwater Boi'
The intensity is dropped and 'Underwater Boi' goes to the same category as 'Mystery'. Actually, this kind of alternative rock song by 'Turnstile' works really well. The drumbeat combined with the simple bass line sounds super tight and the short echoey guitar solo in the middle of the track sounds nice. There are also well-made background sounds sounding actually like being underwater.

The bass line, in the beginning, is just awesome. It could even be something by 'Flea' from 'RHCP'. The track takes turns again between hardcore riffs and more melodic alternative vibes. The dynamics in the track are some of the best in the whole album and I like how same time it is not just an ordinary track but still quite easy to approach. One of my favorite tracks of the album.


'Humanoid / Shake It Up'
One of the fastest and most punk tracks. Like the name of the track says it is basically a combination of two different tracks or maybe more like a combination of two short riffs. I like the first half, but the last half is just a bit too boring. It could have been actually interesting to leave it just as a 40-second track in the between acting like an interlude. 

I love the fast parts of the vocals in 'Endless' as well as the simple "ye-ye-ye-yeah" part.  They all just groove so nicely. The second verse includes some other vocals than the lead singer of 'Turnstile' and it sounds great being quite delicate on top of the fast-paced punk track. All in all this track is pretty much all about the vocals, otherwise, the track is pretty simple but sounds again very good.

'Fly Again'
After many rather more or less experimental elements 'Fly Again' feels very basic track. It is not a bad track, but it is not also very interesting. It balances again between some hardcore elements and 90's alternative rock. 

'Alien Love Call'
The slow jam of the album featuring 'Blood Orange'. This is definitely one of the softest of all 'Turnstile' songs ever released. It has a good atmosphere and the voice of 'Blood Orange' fits well in the track. The track is also having its place in the middle of the whole album giving little space to breathe for the listener. The ending having the same arpeggio as the very beginning of the album creates nice binding.

'Wild Wrld'
I can imagine the beginning of the track working very well on their live set while the fans would be singing the melody same time waiting for the upcoming explosion. Again I really like the percussions. I don't know if the band has made it intentionally but the "low low low" part reminds a lot of 'Flo Rida's 'Low'. It would not be very surprised if they did it intentionally. One way or another, it's a funny little detail in the track. This track is again a great example of how 'Turnstile' is able to make simple hardcore riffs sound great with many small details.

Very straightforward mid-tempo track again with a bunch of different little percussions. This track actually reminds me a bit of 'Refused' with the bass effect, percussions, small effect details on vocals as well as the guitar solo part in the end. All in all, 'Glow On' has a lot of similarities to 'The Shape of Punk to Come' being playful, badass and experimental all at the same time.

'New Heart Design'
One of the most melodic and catchiest tracks. The guitar riff has some similarities to 'RCHP' as well as the guitar details in the back. The cut, in the end, gives nicely more room to the guitar. If 'Endless' was all about the vocals, 'New Heart Design' is all about the guitars not forgetting also the brilliant bass line. 

'T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection)'
Circle piiiit!! This is the crazy mosh pit track of the album! After 40 seconds the circle pit turns into a violent beat-down pit where you need to avoid getting hit by windmills. I love the chill ending which sounds something like 'Tory y Moi' or other cool chillwave music. 

'No Surprise' 
A huge dynamic change to the previous track. Basically 'No Surprise' feels some kind of an interlude since it's such short and it ends so surprisingly. This kind of thing makes 'Turnstile' much more interesting compared to many other hardcore bands. 

'Lonely Dezires' 
Another track featuring 'Blood Orange'. It's great to have such a good track as the last song of the album. Many times the last tracks of any album might feel slightly boring or as fillers, but not this time. The very ending is also just great with the arpeggios and fading the guitar in and out. The experimental and surprising stuff continues until the very end. Great work from 'Turnstile'. 

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