CD Review: Sam Teskey – Cycles

PHOTO CREDIT: KRISTIAN LAEMMLE-RUFF

Band: Sam Teskey
Album: Cycles
Label: Ivy League
Release: October 8th, 2021

Rating: 6.5/10


On his long-awaited solo debut, Sam Teskey eschews the blues in favour of hazy, fuzz-laden psychedelica. Albeit rather derivative – Teskey mines the ‘60s like a proud fanboy, but adds little of his own flair to the fray – the talent employed on Cycles is undeniable; from the Hendrixian swagger of “If The Dove Is Sold” to the Dylanesque twangs of “Til The River Takes Us Home”, or the Floydian fizz of “Let The Sun Bring The Light” and “Then Love Returns”, Teskey nails every strum, pluck and solo like the seasoned virtuoso he is. 

We could’ve done without the plodding intros and outros (which occupy over a quarter of the album’s real estate), but they’re not entirely egregious. All in all, Cycles makes for a decent Sunday evening apéritif. Serve chilled, preferably at dusk. 

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Cycles is out now via Ivy League. Click here to get around it.

NME news roundup: September 28th – October 2nd, 2021

Hi, hey, hello!

It is a muggy Sunday morning here in Western Sydney, and I am currently buried under a veritable mountain of blankets (with a fan blasting at full power about 20cm from my face, because… contrast). September was a pretty hectic month – hence the last two NME round-ups not even having intros – but I’m currently enjoying a chill day off and mentally preparing myself for an even more insane October. 

On that note, we’re only a week out from COVID restrictions (supposedly) easing in NSW, which means I should be able to start house-hunting (and finally see Shang-Chi, holy shit) later this month! I’m just crossing my fingers in hopes that the border to Victoria opens soon too, or that we’re at least able to start applying for permits to cross it. Right now my LGA is a grey zone, which means we aren’t able to cross any interstate borders unless it is an absolute, extreme-case emergency. But hopefully that’s gonna change soon!

My highlight this week is the new track by Whatever, Forever – a pop-punk/emo/hardcore-ish outfit from my own batting grounds of Western Sydney – which landed on Friday. Five EPs down and they still won’t commit to a full-length album, but at least we’re getting new music from them at all – and fucking sick music, at that. I’ve linked “Ghost Of Me” after the jump, but in the meantime, here’s everything I got up to at NME this week:

TUESDAY, 28/09/21

Bob Dylan announces US leg of ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’ world tour

Listen to Soccer Mommy and Kero Kero Bonito join forces on ‘Rom Com 2021’

Listen to Arca’s entrancing new single ‘Incendio’

Tom Grennan announces 2022 Australian tour

Muroki longs for home on bubbly new single ‘Surfin’

WEDNESDAY, 29/09/21

Converge detail collaborative album with Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm and Stephen Brodsky

Spacey Jane, Meg Mac, The Presets and more announced for QLD leg of This That 2022

Eat Your Heart Out drop idyllic film clip for ‘Pear Tree’

PLANET plead to save a doomed relationship on summery new single ‘Ship Won’t Change’

Shannen James team ups with Riley Pearce for an acoustic version of ‘Separate Ways’

THURSDAY, 30/09/21

Judge suspends Jamie Spears as Britney Spears’ conservator

The Script announce Australian ‘Greatest Hits’ tour for 2022

Ashwarya taps into romantic tension on striking new single ‘Flare’

Micra drop new tracks ‘After Dark’ and ‘Tell Me What You Need’, announce EP trilogy

KYE links up with Jerome Farah for dreamy new single ‘Tuesday’

FRIDAY, 01/10/21

LÂLKA drops dancefloor-primed new single ‘Hold Me’, announces new EP

Running Touch links up with GRAACE, Set Mo and Motez for live version of ‘Ceilings’

Keli Holiday lives it up on his lonesome with summery new single ‘December’

Between You And Me share new single ‘Butterflies’, detail second album

Client Liaison drop new video for ‘Strictly Business’, sell their “soul” as an NFT

Whatever, Forever share emotive new single ‘Ghost Of Me’, announce fifth EP

SATURDAY, 02/10/21

David Lee Roth says he’ll retire after final concerts in Las Vegas: “I’m throwing in the shoes”

Queen’s Roger Taylor says anti-vaxxers “must be ignorant and stupid”

Bootleg Rascal drop reggae remix of ‘With You’, detail massive Australian tour

Pluto Jonze drops blissful new singles ‘New Morning High’ and ‘Rumschpringe’

PS. get vaccinated or fuck off eternally.

September ’21 post dump!

Oh my god, September was huge!

I hope everyone reading this had a fantastic month, and has an even better October. I don’t really have much to report on my end (we’re still in lockdown, but it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll actually get out of it next month), so here’s everything I got up to around the Internet throughout September.

I think my favourite album this month was Sleigh Bells’ Texis, which feels like the definitive distillation of their warbly, off-kilter pop and rock ebullience – dare I call it hyper-rock? – into an ultra-bright eruption of fun and fucked-up production perfectly suited for the rollercoaster ride that has been 2021. Here I’ve tacked on my favourite track from the record, ‘Tennessee Tips’.

UNFD: THE OFFICIAL PODCAST

Episode 6: Stray From The Path (Apple Podcasts | Spotify)

NME

Ruby Fields – ‘Been Doin’ It For A Bit’ review: gut-punching debut from an indie-rocker wiser than her years

BLUNT

AViVA: Finding the light within emo’s darkness

Turnstile: Glow with the flow

WAAX: On the cusp of a new age

Amyl And The Sniffers: A warm hug of raw punk

Spiritbox: An eternity in the making

The Beths: Tour bus gazers

Parkway Drive: A royal return to the stage

Justice For The Damned: The infinite potential of power

Polaris: Life after The Death Of Me

Ruby Fields: Life in the fast lane

Vox Pop: How do full-time touring artists keep themselves sane on the road?

5 songs that helped The Sleepyheads get through 2020

The Weekly Riff: August 28th – September 3rd, 2021

The Weekly Riff: September 4th-10th, 2021

The Weekly Riff: September 11th-17th, 2021

Premiere: A Swift Farewell tug at our heartstrings with their latest pop-punk crooner, ‘Sunburn’

Premiere: Agapanther stick it to their dickhead “mates” with the ripping new single ‘Pseudo’

Premiere: Drastic Park admit they suck ass with god-awful new single ‘Snakes And Ladders’

Premiere: Wildheart prepare to dominate hardcore with vicious new single and debut album

Premiere: Mosh-pop supergroup Dead Mall roar to life with debut single ‘Cough It Up’

Premiere: Afterthought revel in their “heartbreak memories” with punchy new jam ‘Homebound’

EN GARDE – thy full lineup for Knight & Day 2021 hath landed!

The Used have dropped their enormous deluxe edition of ‘Heartwork’

AUSTRALIAN GUITAR (via GUITAR WORLD)

The Superjesus’ Jason Slack: “I had no real plan from the start, I just wanted to make a guitar”

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: All Our Exes Live In Texas

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Tex Perkins

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: The Living End

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Hiatus Kaiyote

Spotlight: Alex Lees of Four In The Morning

Spotlight: Ella Williams, a.k.a. Squirrel Flower

Spotlight: Sam Sheumack of Fangz

Spotlight: Kyle Balkin of Leisure Sport

Premiere: Justin Bernasconi channels the spirit of the Australian outback on luminous new single “Lady In The Field”

NME news roundup: September 21st-26th, 2021

What a week it has beeeeeeeen! Here’s everything I got up to at NME over the past week:

TUESDAY, 21/09/21

Slash posts teaser of new Guns N’ Roses song ‘Hard School’

Morgan Wallen reportedly only donated a third of his promised $500,000 to Black-led organisations

Jimmy Barnes and Matt Okine mount #ShareASong campaign for dementia awareness

WEDNESDAY, 22/09/21

Greatest Hits set their sights on the dancefloor with groovy new single ‘Spicy’

Springtime release new single ‘Will To Power’, detail self-titled debut album

Fergus James channels Bon Iver and Imogen Heap on new single ‘Slow Separation’

Private Function to play horror-themed ‘Miracle On 69th Street’ Christmas show

This That festival postponed to 2022, Queensland date to receive new line-up

THURSDAY, 23/09/21

Damon Albarn finds the beauty in darkness on new single ‘Royal Morning Blue’

Billy Corgan to sell gear played on Smashing Pumpkins albums and tours

Oh Wonder detail fourth album, ‘22 Break’, and share dazzling title track

Stepson announce rescheduled ‘Help Me, Help You’ tour for 2022

Mossy drops frenzied Kmoe remix of ‘Shade’

FRIDAY, 24/09/21

Hear St. Vincent, Fontaines D.C. and Michael Stipe cover The Velvet Underground on new tribute album

R. Kelly’s lawyer references Martin Luther King, Jr. in closing arguments of New York trial

As I Lay Dying issue statement on guitarist Nick Hipa’s departure: “We wish him the absolute best”

RedHook embrace their emo side on new single ‘Sentimental Surgery’

Listen to the title track from Azure Ryder’s new EP ‘Ladder To The Moon’

Wolfjay wrestles with extremes on luminous new single ‘Dichotomy’

SATURDAY, 25/09/21

Listen to Ocean Sleeper’s stormy new single ‘Forever Sinking’

Listen to Paris Texas’ punchy new single ‘Girls Like Drugs’

Eminem to open diner named after “Mom’s spaghetti” lyric in ‘Lose Yourself’

SUNDAY, 26/09/21

Watch Baker Boy, Stella Donnelly, John Butler and more perform at the 2021 AFL Grand Final

Courtney Love says Nirvana should have made ‘In Bloom’ the lead single from ‘Nevermind’

NME news roundup: September 13th-19th, 2021

Another week has passed, and with it a whole stack of music news! Here’s everything I got up to at NME over the past week:

MONDAY, 13/09/21

Here are all the winners from the MTV VMAs 2021

Watch Ed Sheeran perform ‘Shivers’ and ‘Bad Habits’ from the 2021 MTV VMAs

TUESDAY, 14/09/21

Courtney Barnett goes on a sonic adventure in new video for ‘Before You Gotta Go’

Every Time I Die aim for the throat on anti-capitalist anthem ‘Planet Shit’

Nicki Minaj says she will get COVID-19 vaccine “once I feel I’ve done enough research”

Parkway Drive, Polaris, Alex Lahey and more announced for 2021 Knight & Day festival

WEDNESDAY, 15/09/21

Listen to Gang Of Youths’ haunting piano version of ‘The Angel Of 8th Ave.’

Paul Kelly muses on Australia’s culture of racism in new single ‘Every Step Of The Way’

The Amity Affliction pay tribute to the late Sean Kennedy on new single ‘Like Love’

Banoffee mourns the best sex of her life on new single ‘Never Get to F*ck Any1’

Bodyjar build a conspiracy theorist in new video for ‘Get Out Of My Head’

Skeleten drops two new remixes for ‘Live In Another World’

Watch the cinematic music video for Twelve Foot Ninja’s new single ‘Over And Out’

THURSDAY, 16/09/21

Hope D trips out on explosive new single ‘Happy Hangover’

The Cat Empire announce final tour with original line-up

Wave Racer puts an upbeat spin on sad times with new single ‘Dreaming’

Johnny Hunter balance light and dark on evocative new single ‘Life’

Peking Duk, Boo Seeka and Northeast Party House to play regional QLD festival The Backyard Series

Drapht and Bodyjar join Land Of Plenty festival, rescheduled for 2022

Listen to Dominic Breen’s dizzying new single ‘Real Hard Week’

FRIDAY, 17/09/21

Scarface receives kidney transplant from son after battle with COVID-19

Josh Homme’s daughter has been granted a temporary restraining order against him

Birds Of Tokyo team up with Stand Atlantic for stirring new single ‘Superglue’

Listen to Running Touch’s steamy new single ‘Ceilings’

Close Counters release charity singles ‘In Need Of Love’ and ‘Wherever You Go’

Sarah Saint James drops biting new single ‘Heather’, co-written with Alex Lahey

SUNDAY, 19/09/21

Kanye West honours his late mother in new video for ‘Donda Chant’

The Smashing Pumpkins perform ‘Quiet’ for the first time in 27 years at Riot Fest

Los Angeles to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at bars and nightclubs

Foxing announce UK and European tour for 2022

NME news roundup: September 7th-12th, 2021

G’morning! Happy Tuesday!

I don’t have a whole bunch to say this time around – it’s been a really busy week so I haven’t had much time to let my mind wander anywhere else but my laptop… I did some baking yesterday which was pretty nice? Also I’d never watched any of the Matrix movies before this week (I know, I’m an uncultured watermelon) so I’ve been catching up on those before Resurrections comes out in December. I’m halfway through Reloaded and so far I feel like it and the OG ’99 movie were a lil’ overhyped, but I still still really enjoyed The Matrix nonetheless. I also just love that crusty, washed out ’90s aesthetic.

My highlight for this week was 100% The Bob’s Burgers Movie getting a new release date! I was so worried that would get pulled from the slate altogether after it got knocked back last year, but it is actually coming out for realsies I am SO FUCKING EXCITED to see it next year now! Music-wise, though, I really dug the new Moaning Lisa single. The album is fantastic!

TUESDAY, 07/09/21

Watch Chvrches play three ‘Screen Violence’ highlights on ‘CBS This Morning’

Watch Miley Cyrus cover Janis Joplin’s ‘Maybe’ at BottleRock

Klaxons keyboardist James Righton reveals his role in forming ABBA reunion band

Yumi Zouma power through their self-doubt on new single ‘Give It Hell’

Guy Sebastian says he disagrees with messaging of #VaxTheNation music industry campaign

WEDNESDAY, 08/09/21

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ unveils promotional website with 180,000 different teasers

Britney Spears’ father Jamie files petition to end her conservatorship

Baker Boy, Amy Shark, Jimmy Barnes and more announced for 2022 Great Southern Nights concert series

Ash Grunwald drops striking new single ‘I Want You To Know’, details 11th studio album

THURSDAY, 09/09/21

Angels & Airwaves tap into their slower side on emotive new single ‘Spellbound’

Triple One shake it up with trippy new single ‘Blood Rave’

Shady Nasty muse on the grind of city life in new single ‘PRETTYB0YZ’

Watch Vance Joy perform ‘Missing Piece’ on ‘The Late Late Show’

Stumps share “extended cut” of ‘All Our Friends’ with five new remixes

Jack River champions young activists on powerful new single ‘We Are The Youth’

FRIDAY, 10/09/21

Listen to Moaning Lisa’s breezy new single ‘Too Many’

Watch Debbies get drunk with the devil in new video for ‘Sinner’

90ivy drop groove-laden breakup anthem ‘Now Or Later’

Listen to Fangz get angsty on belting new single ‘I Don’t Like Me’

Fractures drops bubbly new single ‘Raspberries’, announces ‘Summer’ EP

Cyrus yearns for “real life” on dreamy new single ‘Love Online’

Listen to the Hard-Ons’ propulsive new single ‘Lite As A Feather’

SATURDAY, 11/09/21

LEGO teams up with Fender for 1,000+ piece Stratocaster set

Billy Talent recruit Rivers Cuomo for new single ‘End Of Me’, announce sixth album

Mastodon drop new single ‘Pushing The Tides’, detail ninth studio album

Members of Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam leading “Sounds Of Seattle” rock camp

Gear owned by late Mazzy Star member David Roback up for sale 

Jax Jones announces UK tour dates for 2022

SUNDAY, 12/09/21

Explosions In The Sky release hypnotic new single ‘Flying’

‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ sets new 2022 release date

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon say ‘The Last Duel’ is a feminist movie

Swizz Beatz says Kanye West was down to battle Drake in a ‘VERZUZ’ episode

Matt Damon fans have tracked down his secret Instagram account

August ’21 post dump!

Good morning!

I hope you are having a wonderful start to your Saturday (or whatever time of whatever day it is when you’re reading this). I’m doing great today, I had my first really solid night of sleep all week last night and goddamn, what a difference that can make!

After a pretty chaotic June and July, August felt like such a turnaround. It was chaotic in the sense that I’m pretty sure I’ve singlehandedly kept the energy drink industry alive with how busy I’ve been, but it wasn’t chaotic in the sense that I had a whole bunch of turbulent shit going on in my personal life. The crushing malaise of lockdown aside, the past month has been exciting. We sent AG #145 to print and had it hit shelves, I picked up a third job – I’m back at BLUNT, now wrangling the site as its editor – and I got my second jab, so now I can look forward to being able to get out of the house again once NSW hits 70% vaccination (which they reckon will be around mid-October, but I’m not getting my hopes up there.

Here’s everything I got up to around the Internet last month – and a track from the debut Binki EP, Motor Function, which came out a few weeks ago. I am totally fucking obsessed with this record – it feels like a big, explosive bedroom-pop smoothie of Bloc Party, M83, Kid Cudi and Gorillaz. I’m gonna be mad pissed if this dude doesn’t end up headlining festivals by the end of the 2020s.

LITERALLY MY OWN SITE

A heaps rad chat with Tim and Craig of LOSER

CD Review: Willow – Lately I Feel Everything

CD Review: Bleachers – Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night

CD Review: Sleater-Kinney – Path Of Wellness

CD Review: Alice Skye – I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good

CD Review: The Bronx – Bronx VI

CD Review: Turnstile – Glow On

UNFD: THE OFFICIAL PODCAST

Episode 5: Thornhill (Apple Podcasts | Spotify)

NME

Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers: Canberra grunge revivalists making heartfelt, heavy-hitting punk anthems

BLUNT

Sleep Waker: Chasing a dream, fighting a nightmare

Lil Lotus: “I remember relating to things I’d never even experienced yet”

Vox Pop: How do the biggest names in alt music deal with stage-fright?

What you should know about UNIFY 2022, according to Luke Logemann

8 bands we’re pretty sure will be on the UNIFY Gathering 2022 lineup

Between You & Me show us what songs to check out after spinning ‘Deadbeat’

The Weekly Riff: August 9th-13th, 2021

The Weekly Riff: August 14th-20th, 2021

The Weekly Riff: August 21st-27th, 2021

Premiere: Sink into the nostalgic haze of Oceans’ new clip for ‘Break My Fall’

Premiere: Mirrors dive into The Ego’s Weight with a razor-sharp new single, ‘Leave Them Behind’

Hollow Front usher in an explosive new era with ‘Treading Water’

AUSTRALIAN GUITAR (via GUITAR WORLD)

Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath: “The world keeps creating an audience for our music”

The Screaming Jets’ Scott Kingman: “I love this whole ‘build your own’ situation that we seem to have been forced into”

Tropical Fuck Storm’s Gareth Liddiard: “I don’t know what the f*** other bands are even thinking about”

The Jungle Giants’ Sam Hales: “Lockdown was sad and weird, but it was definitely productive”

Children Collide’s Johnny Mackay: “We were using old, shitty, tiny Fender amps”

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Ross Wilson

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Hussy Hicks

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Jeff Lang

Australian Guitar’s Fresh Frets: Vol. 9

Explore the immortal legacy of Prince in Australian Guitar #144, out today

NME news roundup: August 24th – September 5th, 2021

My dudes, it has been a wild fortnight. I completely just spaced on posting a news roundup last week – to be fully honest, I forgot I even had this blog.

I got my second dose of Pfizer on Thursday, and it does feel really good to be fully vaccinated now. Although, I wasn’t expecting to be decked so hard by the side-effects – I had absolutely no reaction to the first dose, but the second dose gave me three full days of brutal lethargy, brain fog and soreness. But I have a much lower chance of getting COVID-19 now, and if I do somehow manage to get it, a much lower chance of dying – so at the end of the day, it’s very much worth the side-effects. We’ve been hearing stuff about some NSW businesses starting to re-open for vaccinated people, and I’m hoping that starts soon, because I am truly starting to go postal in lockdown. I also (kinda selfishly) hope cinemas are included in that suite of businesses, because I am fucking desperate to watch Shang-Chi.

Anyway, here’s everything I got up to at NME over the past couple of weeks!

TUESDAY, 24/08/21

Kanye West momentarily leaked Drake’s home address on Instagram

Judge rules Tory Lanez violated Megan Thee Stallion’s restraining order

Watch the powerful new trailer for Halsey’s IMAX film ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’

Watch Bugs erupt into a cathartic live set in ‘Decisions, Commitments & Plans’ video

Listen to Biblemami’s electrifying new single ‘Bunny’

WEDNESDAY, 25/08/21

Paramore’s Hayley Williams appears to have been given a writing credit on Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Good 4 U’

Woman alleges at trial that R. Kelly forced her to have sex with another man as punishment

Watch Pond tear it up in a “bootleg” recording of their full set in Fremantle

THURSDAY, 26/08/21

merci, mercy drops brutally relatable new single ‘Winnie Crush’

Bootleg Rascal set October release for new album ‘Sloppy Seconds’

Charlie Collins riffs on the frustrations of heartbreak in eruptive new single ‘Just My Luck’

Totally Unicorn slam the ‘Trust Fund Glee’ on mosh-ready new single

Meredith Music Festival cancels its 2021 event

Watch Parcels play an acoustic version of ‘Comingback’ from the idyllic Painted Hills

Amy Shark postpones remainder of ‘Cry Forever’ tour dates

Kobie Dee announces ‘Gratitude Over Pity’ EP, drops striking new single ‘About A Girl’

Between You And Me call themselves out on new single ‘Deadbeat’

FRIDAY, 27/08/21

The Weeknd, Belly and Nas join forces for powerful new track ‘Die For It’

Eminem teams up with Grip for scorching new song ‘Walkthrough!’

Listen to Big Red Machine and Taylor Swift team up on heady new track ‘Birch’

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich pays tribute to Charlie Watts: “There’s nobody above Charlie on that pyramid”

Kacey Musgraves embraces healing pains on new single ‘justified’

Dylan J and Ruel team up for smoky new single ‘Notice Me’

SATURDAY, 28/08/21

Jason Isbell covers The Rolling Stones’ hit ‘Gimme Shelter’ in memory of Charlie Watts

Angel Haze drops “woozy, dreamlike” new single, details ‘Girl With A Gun’ EP

Mark Lanegan and Joe Cardamone detail self-titled Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe album

Historic baths venue being renovated and reopened for Sound City Ipswich

London Grammar drop breathtaking orchestral version of ‘Lord It’s A Feeling’

SUNDAY, 29/08/21

Stormzy brings out Manchester City footballer Jack Grealish during Leeds Festival set

Chris D’Elia returns to stand-up, reportedly jokes about being “cancelled”

Nas calls Hit-Boy his “Quincy Jones”, talks potential third album together: “The idea has to be exciting in the first place”

The Script announce 2022 tour for UK and Europe, detail ‘Tales From The Script’ compilation

TUESDAY, 31/08/21

GoFundMe launched for Psychedelic Furs guitarist John Ashton’s cancer treatment

Halsey calls out industry treatment over pregnancy: “My personal choice isn’t going to affect your profitability”

Drake shows off latest instalment of ‘Certified Lover Boy’ merch collaboration with Nike

Flume drops bass-inflected remix of Danny L Harle’s ‘On A Mountain’

FRIDAY, 03/09/21

Masked Wolf links up with X Ambassadors’ Sam Harris for new single ‘Razor’s Edge’

The Vanns celebrate personal wins on summery new single ‘Feels Good Now’

Broods return with intoxicating new single ‘Piece Of My Mind’

Lime Cordiale, The Veronicas, Broods and more announced for 2021 Factory Summer Festival

Teenage Dads drop ‘Cheerleader’ video, set release for ‘Club Echo’ EP

SUNDAY, 05/09/21

André 3000 issues statement after his Kanye West collaboration is leaked by Drake

Chance The Rapper, Smoko Ono, Joey Purp and Yxng Bane join forces for new single ‘Winners’

Cheryl Cole criticised for hosting R&B podcast on BBC Sounds

Somebody shat themselves in the pit during a Turnstile show in California

CD Review: Turnstile – Glow On

PHOTO CREDIT: JIMMY FONTAINE

Band: Turnstile
Album: Glow On
Label: Roadrunner / Warner
Release: August 27th, 2021

Rating: 10/10


Virtually anyone could whip themselves up a decent burrito, but it takes a true master of the culinary arts to make a great burrito. It’s not just about all those ingredients snuggled up under a soft tortilla, but their quality, their source, how they’re seasoned and prepared; the intermingling of textures and collision of flavours. When treated with the right care and cogitation, a concept so simple can become something so life-affirmingly beautiful.

In this analogy, the burrito is hardcore punk, and our culinary maestro is Baltimore outfit Turnstile. The band have always tackled their slate of scream ’n’ shred with an outsider’s perspective, spicing up their palate with summery grooves and kinetic percussion. But on LP3, it’s like they’ve finally cracked the code to making an infallibly calamitous, uncompromisingly headstrong hardcore album sound genuinely otherworldly.

Glow On is cinematic, riveting and rhapsodic; the sheer depth and dynamism of its musicality cannot be understated, nor Turnstile’s passion in sculpting it. It’s a notably short record at 35 minutes, but they really make every second count. “Endless”, for example, clocks in a few seconds off two minutes long, yet it takes it the listener on a full-fat adventure through a sonic forest of shimmery bass, effects-soaked vocals and tearing guitar juts.

Even ornamental quips like the empyrean synth intro on “Mystery” and the regal grand piano lick on “Fly Again” have their place, adding contextual basis to tracks like the silky, groove-oriented “Underwater Boi” and the hazy, stoner-friendly “Alien Love Call”. Then because the funky, Prince-esque energy at play on the former let us know as much could be expected, the equally biting and breezy “New Heart Design” feels homely and natural, no matter how odd its composition may sound in description (it is at once raw, gritty and eruptive, romantic, groovy, sparse and fantastical).

For the more traditional hardcore fans that just wanna cut sick to some gloriously gory riffs and wall-rattling fills, don’t worry – Turnstile still have you covered. Sharp and snarling cuts like “Holiday” and “Humanoid / Shake It Up” dot the record’s top-end, while the back-to-back belters “Wild Wrld” and “Dance-Off” inject its second half with a blast of mosh-tailored intensity.

Again, Turnstile have always been innovators. They’re one of the most interesting bands on the circuit – not even just in hardcore – but Glow On makes their previous efforts look embarrassing in comparison. This is the kind of record that makes us feel justified in spending $500 on a pair of headphones; a true masterclass in the art of heavy music. Come 2030, we’ll be looking back on it as the record that sparked a whole new wave of rebellious genre-bending.

Please note: this review is also printed in #144 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Glow On is set for release on August 27th, 2021 via Roadrunner / Warner. Click here to pre-order.

CD Review: The Bronx – Bronx VI

PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE MILLER

Band: The Bronx
Album: Bronx VI
Label: Cooking Vinyl
Release: August 27th, 2021

Rating: 7.5/10


Perfectly suited for a particularly erratic time, Bronx VI is heavy, hard-hitting and headstrong. It’s a step backwards in the band’s sonic evolution – Bronx V stood out for its tasteful shift into a more summery, groove-inflected Britrock flavour, whereas Bronx VI is mostly cut-and-dried, no-frills punk – but that’s not to say it isn’t a wondrously well-crafted record.

It’s a rabid and unrelenting love letter to fans of the first three Bronx LPs; the riffs are venomous, the chugs walloping and the solos soaring, and the screams lacquered over them are enthralling and impassioned. Best is how it crystallises all the meteoric might and inimitable fury of the band’s live show – especially so via the breakneck‑paced intensity of “Breaking News” and the frenetic, fist-pumping grunt of “Curb Feelers”. 

Please note: this review is also printed in #144 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Bronx VI is set for release on August 27th, 2021 via Cooking Vinyl. Click here to pre-order.