Time & Space


Roadrunner, 2018


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


There are certain genres that do not make for easy crossovers into mainstream music: case in point, hardcore punk. Just Wikipedia the list of acts in this genre and you won’t be able to recognize any name unless you are a fan of this brand of music. Here is where Turnstile’s Time & Space comes in. This sophomore effort by the Baltimore-based outfit is great. This album brings chaotic and harsh guitar music led by screaming vocals down to the level that can be understood and appreciated by even the casual rock music aficionados who are not familiar with this particularly rowdy subset of rock.

One of the huge features of this outfit and this album in particular is its levity. The sense of humor in the music certainly adds an interesting twist but also makes it less burdensome and much more tolerable to those who cannot stomach guys screaming into the mic as if they are shouldering all of the world’s problems. The height of this ‘embracing of the lighter side of things’ comes in the form of the two musical interludes “Bomb” and “Disco” which are super goofy, almost like those inane commercials for your local carpet store in the middle of a nail-biting crime drama. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The rest of Time & Space is skull-crushingly hard, but not without tiny moments of silliness that make a huge difference in making the record sound lighter. For example, the backing vocals on the title track add a campy pop flavor; the screeching musical cacophony towards the end of “Right To Be” is playful; the call-and-response part in the middle of “Generator,” with the response that goes “aha” to the call “Gotta make my own way,” is funny; the ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll piano accents on “High Pressure” are cheeky and mischievous; and the ending of “Real Thing” (a single with a hilarious music video), with the ridiculously tacky keyboard instrumental, is utterly laugh-inducing.

A lot of ‘90s grunge influences can be seen on this record, especially on the guitar and drum parts that have the energy and feel of bands like The Offspring, Helmet, and Nirvana. The songs here are well-produced and catchy headbanging treats, which are accessible even to those non-committed headbanger types.

One can safely say that Time & Space is an album for folks that don’t care much for hardcore punk more than it actually is for fans of this genre. This disc does to this musical style what Kendrick Lamar did to hip-hop, for example. It opens up a type of music with distinctive characteristics to a much broader audience without experimenting too much or messing with the music’s core defining traits. So, file Time & Space under crossover successes.

Rating: A-

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© 2018 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Roadrunner, and is used for informational purposes only.