Turnstile — TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION — EP Review

Rock | Hardcore | Punk

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Hardcore has never sounded this light-hearted and fun; this is what I think to myself every time that I listen to the Baltimore hardcore punk band that is Turnstile.

I was lucky to have discovered these guys quite a while ago; a year or two after they released their 2013 EP Step to Rhythm, to be exact. And ever since then, I’ve been quite the fan of their uniquely fun and hard-hitting sound.

That being said, I was able to enjoy both of the band's current studio albums upon release; those being 2016’s Nonstop Feeling, and 2018’s Time & Space. The latter especially presented the idea that Turnstile was breaking through into a more widespread cult following, which was something that I had felt the band truly deserved for quite a while.

Bud oddly enough, it was following the album cycle of Time & Space, that the band seemed to go a bit quieter, and this resulted in a break spanning across a few years. They did eventually release a collaborative EP with the musical project Mall Grab, titled Share A View. However, I was still eagerly awaiting their next full cycle.

With the release of their single “MYSTERY” earlier this year, I was hopeful that the next full cycle was exactly what would be happening in Turnstile’s musical 2021. On the contrary, we actually got a surprise release of the band’s newest EP, titled TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION.

On the surface, that seemed like a pretty sweet deal, considering how generous the band have been with EPs of the past like 2011's Pressure to Succeed, and the aforementioned Step to Rhythm. However, TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION unfortunately stands as one of their least generous projects to date.

This EP barely carries four tracks with it. And when I say “barely”, I’m referring to the fact that one of these four tracks is a 45 second interlude. The full projects clocks in at a measly runtime of just under 8 minutes. This means that this EP is actually shorter than quite a few songs I have already heard this year?

It does make me beg the question “is this EP a midway point for a larger project coming later on?”, everything I’ve looked at seems to point to the fact that it isn’t, and is instead Turnstile’s musical spoonful for the year. However, I hope that I am proven wrong.

TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION begins with a track that was partially and cryptically teased before the surprise drop of the EP. Titled “HOLIDAY” brings us that known and loved Turnstile aesthetic, with a slightly more pop-inspired and accessible twist. It was arguably the strongest moment of the project in my mind, as it really did bring a full package.

What didn’t bring the full package, however, was the aforementioned interlude I spoke of, which is named “NO SURPRISE”. Don’t get me wrong, I thought this track actually sounded awesome in a compositional sense. But that made it all the more disappointing when the interlude went absolutely nowhere. 45 seconds of what should’ve at least been a buildup to the next track, to find that it doesn’t even achieve that small feat.

The next track in question, is the teaser track “MYSTERY”. All in all, I found this to be a very solid track, and did a very good job as a teaser, when it comes to offering something new, while keeping the core elements of what makes Turnstile such an enjoyable band. I only feel that I would’ve appreciated it far more however, as part of a larger project.

Closing the EP off, is a pseudo-title track of sorts, which feels like a spiritual successor to “Canned Heat”; albeit a much more light-hearted equivalent of that. It repeats the quite heartfelt message of “I’d like to thank you for letting me be myself”, and plays on the whole TLC (Tender loving Care) aspect as well, which I thought was pretty clever.

All in all, I still feel sure that Turnstile have managed to not only hold on to their aesthetic with a firm grip, but they’ve also presented all with a small taste of a new sonic flavour of said aesthetic. I simply wish that the taste in question was of a larger ration.

Favourite Tracks: HOLIDAY | MYSTERY

Least Favourite Track: NO SURPRISE

Roadrunner Records

Enjoyment: ★★★★ | Memorability: ★★★ | Atmosphere: ★★★★

Uniqueness: ★★★ | Satisfaction: ★ | Narrative: ★★★

Final Score: ★★★

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.