Album review: ‘GLOW ON’


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Band on a musical stage.

By Brandon Montemayor , Lifestyle writer

Baltimore hardcore outfit Turnstile have released their third full-length studio album “GLOW ON” to much fanfare. Having already received positive reviews from the likes of NPR and AltPress, the album capitalizes on the success of the band’s previous work and expands upon the group’s sound while remaining true to its hardcore roots.

The 15-track album, which is roughly 35 minutes long, sees the band utilize more spacious and dreamy elements, which are then combined with traditional East coast hardcore, marrying the two sounds perfectly. 

This pairing is most evident on tracks such as “NEW HEART DESIGN” and “ALIEN LOVE CALL,” which are soaked in reverb and dreamy production. “NEW HEART DESIGN,” is a track that takes on an almost ‘80s era sound with shimmering lead guitar, echoing vocals and rattling drums. However, each track seamlessly integrates hardcore elements as well, keeping the band’s signature sound by picking up with punching drums and lead singer Brendan Yate’s brash vocals.

This tasteful reimagining of the genre really is the magic of this album. The dream-like quality never feels out of place on this record, nor do the hardcore elements, which can come suddenly at points but always inject a necessary energy and grit into each track. These hardcore elements also deliver for Turnstile fans who have come to enjoy their heavier discography.

The tracks “WILD WRLD” and “HOLIDAY” are perfect examples of where the band nails those hardcore aspects. These are two fast-paced tracks with overdriven guitar, chunky bass, in-pocket drumming and breakdowns which help the songs build in tension until erupting. 

There is also the crisp, clean production on this album that helps blend genres immensely, whether it’s the Latin inspiration on the track “DON’T PLAY,” which ends on an aggressive putto that bleeds into the dreamy, washed-out vocals on the following track, “UNDERWATER BOI.”

From start to finish, this album is a lot of fun. It’s cathartic to feel and release all of this energy while moshing to the record’s heavier tracks and being able to carelessly dance to the more vibrant songs, which is the selling point. This record is maybe the biggest thing in the genre right now, and the accessibility is its biggest positive. It’s just dreamy enough; it’s just heavy enough. It’s a record that bridges the gap between the mainstream and the subversive culture that surrounds hardcore.

A lyric from the record’s second song, “BLACKOUT,” sums it well, “And if it makes you feel alive / Well, then I’m happy I provide.” Turnstile provided, and listeners will feel alive when they play “GLOW ON.”