Turnstile – GLOW ON

16 September 2021 / by Natasha Bernstein
Album reviews
Turnstile GLOW ON
Released: August 27, 2021
Label: Roadrunner Records
Hardcore / Punk / Rock
Angel Du$t / Expire / Trapped Under Ice

The portrait of a soft-pink sky with fluffy white clouds on the cover gives a way a lot more about GLOW ON than it seems to. Encompassing the hardcore approach they’ve kept their throughout their previous records, Turnstile has subtly shifted their sound without losing their daring touch on their most recent album. Rather than switching genres, they’ve incorporated others, blurring the lines that confine many musicians.

Already, the opening track ‘MYSTERY’ leads to a unique crossover of futuristic sounds alongside classic head-slamming riffs. The track sets the atmosphere for the rest of the record, containing angsty rage-fueled lyrics sung in both melodic and aggressive manners by captivating frontman, Brendan Yates.

The following track, ‘BLACKOUT’ dives right into definitive slow and heavy riffing, without letting up on the intensity. It seems as though Yates’ explosive anger is being intervened by affectionate thoughts as he shouts “And if it makes you feel alive/Well then I’m happy to provide”. 

Most of the songs on the record barely surpass the 3 minute mark – a punk rock trademark – keeping the songs angsty and energized by all the wrongdoings of the world. But ‘UNDERWATER BOI’ showcases the bands abilities to escape genres, by taking a somewhat indie twist with soft backing vocals and exploratory reverbs. It’s a contrast to much of the album, yet it doesn’t particularly stand out as one of the band’s shining moments. It does, however, help expand Turnstile’s music, allowing them to pass a certain level that many other bands get constrained to. 

Unlike most hardcore-punk records, GLOW ON’s presentation is polished to perfection. The album follows through with thrilling drumming from start to finish, combined with a prominent not-so-subtle groove to each track. T

The quintet manages to incorporate a nu-metal-esque quality into tracks like ‘HOLIDAY’, all while containing a rhythmic chorus with the repetitive cry; “I can never feel the cold”. Alongside channeling their inner Beastie Boys in lines like “Too bright to live/too bright to die/I wanna celebrate”, Turnstile also manages to muster a Rage Against The Machine-like riff throughout the song’s closing. 

If anything, GLOW ON shows the band’s ability to blend their influences, resulting in extremely versatile songs furthering their efforts to rejuvenate a genre that was once prevalent. 

There has never been much space in hardcore punk music for experimentation. Certain characteristics define these songs: short in length, shouting, politically-raged fuel, anti-establishment, fast-paced, so aggressive-it’s-almost-violent and so on. For the most part, Turnstile hits all these points, but what separates them from the rest is their ability to cross genre lines without losing their authenticity.