David’s Discs: What to check out (or not) this month
Album: Time & Space by Turnstile
Baltimore hardcore punk band Turnstile return with their sophomore effort, Time & Space. At just twenty-five minutes long, this album seems confident that it will leave an impact in spite of its brief runtime; however, whether it does or not will vary from listener to listener. The album is pretty consistent in tone and energy throughout, which might make the record come off as monotonous or tiresome to some — but not to me. I found myself thoroughly whipped up in the juvenile aggression on display here, with the confrontational hooks keeping it engaging from track to track. Even now, I find myself wrestling with the urge to yell “I’ll do it again! Yeah, I’ll do it again!” at innocent passersby, and other such rude and unruly public behaviours.
The one song that breaks the mood is “Moon,” which uses clean vocals. As a result, this tune is a bit of a grower, and certainly nowhere as immediate as the other tracks here. Speaking of clean vocals, they are sprinkled throughout the record here and there and, to me, this is the weakest aspect of Turnstile’s sound. The screamed vocals do such a great job at getting the blood pumping that the entrance of clean vocals can have the effect of water being splashed in your face. That said, on the whole, Time & Space is a short, wild ride through some of the best hardcore punk out there right now.
My Score: 8/10
Album: In a Poem Unlimited by U.S. Girls
In her latest album, In a Poem Unlimited, Meghan Remy (also known as U.S. Girls) brings her densely lyrical style of songwriting and backs it up with some dance-pop instrumentation. Through her lyrics, the Toronto via Chicago indie singer-songwriter muses on some interesting socio-political topics, ranging from women’s safety to the legacy of Barack Obama. These musings makes the album pretty engaging from a thematic and lyrical perspective. Musically, however, it’s pretty ho-hum — just some pleasant melodies with some upbeat and slightly jazzy instrumentation. Remy’s voice is not very confident or distinct either. She carries the tunes well enough, but never comes out swinging. The record is pleasant but, true to its title, this album would work best as a collection of poems.
My Score: 6/10