REVIEW: Turnstile – ‘Nonstop Feeling’

turnstile

Artist: Turnstile
Album: Nonstop Feeling
Genre: Hardcore, Rock
Label: Reaper Records

Even if you just joined the hardcore scene very recently, you’ve probably heard the name Turnstile. From a few different parts of the East Coast but seemingly based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Turnstile has been around since 2010, putting out only a demo and two 7-inches. Turnstile, over the course of their career, has made a name for themselves as one of the groovier bands in the genre. With their first debut full-length, Nonstop Feeling, Turnstile does exactly what you probably expected: they created a record that goes out of its way to be fun anddanceable, all while still spreading its wings.

Let’s cut to the chase: while this is definitely a hardcore record, Nonstop Feeling has no problem taking from a wide variety of influences. This record has all the benchmarks of a hardcore record: breakdowns for the moshers, two-step parts for the dancers, and pile-on vocal lines for the whole (hardcore) family. If you listen to hardcore for purely those sections, Turnstile definitely delivers, so you won’t be completely disappointed. However the thing that makes this record fun, is all the other influences they unabashedly wear on their sleeve. From the Rage Against the Machine-tinged rock-rap verses of “Can’t Deny It,” to the borderline early-2000s P.O.D. song “Out of Rage,” then to the pop-influenced choruses of “Gravity,” Turnstile does what other hardcore bands currently aren’t: keeping you guessing. I have to admit, some of these songs I find really strange. “Blue By You” straight up makes no sense within the context of the record, but I really think that’s okay. This is Turnstile’s debut record, and I think they’re really trying to show how diverse of songwriters they can be, and while it may not necessarily translate in some songs, others really hit. I can’t get the song “Fazed Out” out of my head, which incorporates your standard hardcore songwriting, while also embracing hair-metal-esque guitar solos. Is that bad? Of course it isn’t; stop trying to act like you’re better than guitar solos. “Bleach Temple” is an instrumental track on the album, and is a mix of ’90s grunge, radio rock, and heavy hardcore. At first it seems out of place, but that’s going to make a really interesting interlude or opener for their live sets.

The aspect that’s always set Turnstile apart from other bands in the scene is their willingness to embrace their groovy nature, and Nonstop Feeling is that groove turned way up. You’re going to dance when you see them live, or at the very least bounce your head so much you may give yourself whiplash. “Bring it Back” is going to make you bounce, while “Addicted” grooves while keeping pace, sounding like they could be a b-side to a Trapped Under Ice record. It should come as no surprise when one of your favorite Baltimore hardcore vocalists makes a quick appearance. Lyrically, this record doesn’t bring all that much to the table, sticking to the anxieties and pressures of growing up into an adult, may it be in songs like “Stress” or “Bad Wave.” Simply, the lyrics are pretty forgettable, but I think even Turnstile recognizes that their songs are less about the lyrical content and more about a Nonstop Feeling (I had to, I’m sorry). I know that probably isn’t what vocalist Brendan Yates wants to hear, but if it’s any consolation, I can’t imagine any other singer as the frontman of Turnstile. Both within the songs, and in a live setting, he exudes a ton of energy that is really quite infectious. Turnstile creates an experience more than anything else, allowing you to just dance and lose yourself for what feels like a quick twelve tracks.

While Step 2 Rhythm wasn’t my favorite record in the world, Pressure to Succeed was on constant repeat when it came out. Nonstop Feeling is a really interesting mesh of these two 7-inches, and there is no doubt in my mind that some kids will absolutely love this record, while others will be turned off by some of its less conventional hardcore aspects. I for one am really excited to see how these songs translate live, and there could not be a better setting for that than their record release show in Baltimore at the end of January.

SCORE: 7/10
Review written by Tyler Osborne

Tyler Osborne

Live in DC, grew up in PA. I specialize in writing, filming and taking pictures about punk, pop-punk, and hardcore music, and I also have a huge background in film as well. When not on the site, i'm running my own internet radio show, ToZ's Edge Radio (www.facebook.com/tozedgeradio). I also love stage diving and goldfish.
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