Turnstile

Time & Space

Written by: PP on 13/06/2018 21:13:54

"Nonstop Feeling" was a genre-defying masterpiece. It was a record that dared to think different, approaching hardcore as a genre from a totally different perspective than anyone else had done to date. So what happened here? "Time & Space" is the difficult sophomore album by the experimentalist hardcore unit Turnstile, which sounds like the band either ran out of ideas or felt the pressure of a sudden surge of popularity and tried to force out an equally unconventional record, just without the songs to back it up.

Where "Nonstop Feeling" surprised its listener at every turn, liberally throwing in elements of indie, shoegaze, and other genres into a hardcore mold that forged a satisfyingly refreshing take on hardcore, "Time & Space" is different. In contrast, the band opt for a much chunkier and heavier, dare I say a more monotonous approach than before. Testosterone and aggression levels have been amped up; singer Brendan Yates yells and shouts more than he used to, and the result is a hardcore album with a rare stumble into indie and shoegaze, rather than one that's built around the latter two as central elements of it.

A few tracks showcase exactly where the band came from: "Big Smile" is one of them, echoing their debut album's experimentalism with its "don't need your smile-ay-ay-ay-ay" chorus that's like straight off a post-punk record. "Generator", likewise, plays with the effect-laden clean vocals in the same manner and unusual, out-of-place "uh-huh" vocals, and a Title Fight-esque shoegaze section. "Moon" is another great example with its almost entirely clean vocal, groove-laden style. This is where the band are at their best.

But the rest? Meh. "Real Thing" is basically an aggressive hardcore song with a few jazz elements. "High Pressure" is two steppable and groovy, and adds saloon-style piano smashing for good measure, but is a far cry from the different look the band had on their first album. Most of these are songs that in no way stand out from the saturated gray mass of other hardcore albums. And the few short interludes like "Bomb" and "Disco" feel out-of-place sandwiched in between such tracks.

And so it's no surprise that yours truly feels disappointed with "Time & Space". When your first album manages to twist and turn an entire genre upside down, and the second one merely succumbs to its flaws and forgets the easygoing, fun element that dominated its predecessor, it's going to have a difficult time standing out. A few great tracks do not a great album make.

6

Download: Moon, Big Smile, Generator, (Lost Another) Piece Of My World
For the fans of: Backtrack, Fugazi, Angel Du$t, Cruel Hand, Western Addiction
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.02.2018
Roadrunner Records

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