Turnstile - Glow On (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Glow On (2021)


Finally, the new Turnstile is here and it's glorious. I mean, after the Turnstile Love Connection EP a couple months back, Glow On is pretty much what I expected but I think what works isn't just the short, punchy riffage we usually associate the band with -- it's how they cram so much diversity into one record. To the point, some fans are calling it artcore. Hey, it's a bit cringe but I'm not sure my "pop-hardcore" won't fare any better. But that said, this is an intriguing, dynamic and surely thought-provoking direction they're going in and I'm eager to see what the evolution holds after this reception.

They've got the EP tracks on tap so I won't speak much to them. The tone was already set with the pop-punk "Mystery" in June, but what we didn't know was the extent of how dance-y and groovy the record would be. It's been teased in previous albums, I admit, but the best bet is to forget those and jump into this headfirst. It's wildly accessible and I think what works the most is you just wouldn't be able to tell what kind of band they really are and what's their definitive sound -- which is a beautiful chaos that works in Turnstile's favor.

You've got Snapcase and Bad Brains chucked into songs like "Blackout" which speak to my pop hardcore coinage, and honestly, with a band throwing so much cowbell in, it's hard not to enjoy the ride with them. There's also skate punk flair made for Tony Hawk games such as "Wild Wrld" that give us a hook-laden, shout along feel I think fans will lap up live. "Endless" falls into this category too, with Turnstile somehow oozing more energy than before.

Now, the most divisive point would be how much shoegaze is incorporated. There are a few tracks along the Title Fight, Citizen, Turnover and yes, Deafheaven's new path. The good thing is, like Pianos Become the Teeth and even bands such as Touche Amore who made dramatic post-hardcore shifts, Turnstile doesn't need a few albums to nail the switch. It's been coming for a while and here, they perfect it, mostly. Some of these caveats feel a tad boring such as "Dance-Off" but if you're looking for the chef's kiss of these slow, swoony tunes, look no further than "Underwater Boi" and "Fly Again".

The track that really impresses me most, however, is "Don't Play" which has that rhythm, groove and melody I expected Caribbean rock to embody. It's a brilliant fusion that maxes out Daniel Fang's amazing drumming throughout. This song does highlight, however, that while vocalist Brendan Yates is at his best -- not too polished but still tuned up well enough -- Franz Lyons (bassist) needs to get more mic time. He's got that deep voice to accentuate things a bit more, even leading on songs if they're going to tread more of this dance-street.

Other songs that stand out are "New Heart Design" which feels like an homage to The Police and the closer: another wild fast-paced punk beast in "Lonely Dezires" which features Blood Orange. It's a nice way to cap what's a really thoroughly invigorating trip and something I can see folks jamming in their cars, wondering how the fuck it's so short when they're stuck in traffic. The repeat value's high, it's got commercial draw too and honestly, I think this is going to take Turnstile mainstream in a massive way that builds on an already illustrious career.