Turnstile - GLOW ON

02 Sep 2021 - Sebastian

Hardcore | Roadrunner Records | Release date: 02 Sep 2021

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Wait, I came here for a Hardcore album and got some Pop, Metalcore, Hardcore, Synth, 80’s mixture? Can this still be any good? Yes, it can! Turnstile’s next evolutionary step is an incredible one. In the three years following their last albumTime & Space, they refined their sound and came up with something fresh, unique and even danceable. So does GLOW ON deserve a place on your record shelf or is it just a short glow in contemporary music?

When the needle first touches the record and the first sounds play it becomes clear, that Turnstile do not play regular Hardcore anymore. ”MYSTERY” welcomes you with a beautiful sounding, glitchy 80’s Pop-synth before switching to a harder sound, but it clearly shows the direction the band wants to go and that might be out – out of conventions, out of expectations, out and away. As the end the song fades seamlessly over into ”BLACKOUT” with its guitar and 808 intro. The vocals are still very clean, but feel powerful. When the chorus hits, the tempo goes up and one can clearly envision the moshpit during their next concert not stopping when this one track follows one of the older, more aggressive songs. The vocals still sound like a mix the shouts and cleaner passages by Zoli Teglas and the old Ignite classics (for example on Call On My Brothers) and the energetic growls delivered by Jesse Barnett (Stick To Your Guns).

”DON’T PLAY” starts incredibly fast and almost feels out of place after the first two songs, but its chorus is not very hardcore though. The track mixes gang-shouts, Hardcore and some soft near Mariachi- or Flamenco-like guitar parts together and once again shows that Turnstile are not content with just playing predefined music anymore.

The most jarring song of the whole album definitely is ”UNDERWATER BOI” which could be straight from an 80’s Synth-Pop album. The bass and drums in the verse might not be Synth-Pop, but the chorus and the vocals definitely are. To bring us back down to earth, the next song ”HOLIDAY” is a real mosh monster and demands to be played loud and louder.

This theme of incorporating new elements, like synths, drum machines and several more keeps up throughout the whole album and really shows how little Turnstile care about genre boundaries and conventions nowadays. They want to play their own music and display their own sound. For most songs you don’t know what you get, when you listen to them for the first time. ”FLY AGAIN” for example starts with a calm, ethereal piano intro only to switch to stomping drums and chugging guitars in the next bar. The first rotation of GLOW ON really feels like an adventure, because Turnstile often subvert your expectations.

GLOW ON is not your typical Hardcore album and that’s a great thing. While that might be a disappointment for a few old-school fans, the evolution of Turnstile’s sound feels like a logical step looking back at their discography and the listener can really sense the fun these guys had writing and recording those songs.