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1. Come Back For More
2. Harder On You
3. Move Thru Me
4. Fuck Me Blind
To say that Turnstile's last album, Nonstop Feeling, was divisive amongst fans and critics alike would be an understatement. Many didn't think it deserved the praise it received, and openly rejected the funk, psychedelic, and rap rock influences that served as the basis for much of the album. Meanwhile, proponents of the band praised it as a forward-thinking and adventurous endeavour. Whichever view was taken, Nonstop Feeling did help bring Turnstile a new level of exposure, as it quickly became one of the most talked-about records of last year.
Instead of delving further into the realm of experimentation, the group's latest release largely focuses on a more hard-hitting and direct style of song-writing. The EP begins with "Come Back For More," which opens with a layered, plodding intro before abruptly switching course, becoming a frantic, upbeat track that is more of a straightforward hardcore song than almost anything on Nonstop Feeling. Despite the forthright nature of this offering, there are small melodic flourishes and haunting background vocals that make this, unmistakably, a Turnstile song.
Having such a lively start also helps to set the tone for the rest of this EP. Those who were expecting an increasingly avante-garde record (which, given the band's trajectory so far, wouldn't be an unreasonable assumption) will be largely disappointed with most of this 7-inch. Instead of expanding on slower, more complex aspects of the group's catalog, this record seems to be driven by an attempt to refocus the band. The second track, "Harder On You," is even more stripped-down than the previous song, although it trades rapid tempos for slower, trudging and churning riffs. Nevertheless, together with "Come Back For More," the first half of this release is unabashedly hardcore in its style and performance. This musical frankness can also be heard on the title track, which does incorporate more groove than the earlier tracks, but still favours an aggressive and blunt delivery.
The only real foray into the experimental realm comes via a cover of "Fuck Me Blind," a track by Washington D.C. band Give. True to the original, the integration of a sparse verse riff and elegant female vocals to fill out the bridge balances the otherwise belligerent and profanity-laden choruses. Rare amongst covers, this is an improvement upon Give's version (the female vocals are even in tune).
Bottom Line: Turnstile returns to its hardcore roots for this blistering EP. The song-writing is impressively focused and as forceful and antagonistic as anything that the band has done up until this point.
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