Galway based punk five-piece Turnstiles recorded their first single “Moving Forward/Wasting Away” in August 2019. Continuing to make a name for themselves locally with their raucous live shows, they released their second single “Tantrums” in February 2020. With plans for the rest of 2020 scrapped, the band concentrated on new music with single “I.D.C.” and “Same Old Stories” released in April 2020 and July 2020 respectively.

Using this unprecedented time Turnstiles worked on new music. The result is their debut EP, The Turnstiles EP, released on 8th Jan 2021 on Blowtorch Records - and I tell you this is the way to start 2021. With a blistering attack and full on “Come On, Let’s Have You” attitude, the four tracks are full of fire. They speak of the impact of economic and social systems, and how they inform our actions and life choices. London born frontman Callum Mitchell delivers stinging lyrics over the trebly guitars of Colm Sweeney and Cillian Ryan backed by Luke Mulliez on drums and Jake Tiernan on bass.

Opening track 'Something to Die For' could well turn out to be one of my tracks of 2021. It is an utter assault on the senses, beginning with full-on screeching and screaming; just electrifying. Those guitars are worked like crazy, and the fingers must be bleeding by the end. The drums provide a pounding backdrop. This track demands to be played loud, but listen to the lyrics.

'Just Bleed' has a slightly less raucous vibe, but Callum’s emotional vocals and a tight guitar riff still provide an absolute sense of urgency.

The over-riding focus of this EP is personal and political issues and how they contextualise each other in reality. Perhaps this is most evident in third track 'In A State'. It begins slowly and has a sense of foreboding. “All cowboys are forgotten, they’re super-heroes now.” The clever play on words decries corruption and the impact of short-term view of leaders. This song is sprinkled with such references; it is utterly beguiling.

Lyrics like “We are the first generation of instant information” seem so obvious but at the same time so smart. I mean what a pure description of modern culture, in just eight words. This final track 'Omniscient Delusion' presents the negatives of social media and our 24-hour instant information environment. Some people think their opinions are the most important, others are not what they seem, and some choose to bully and belittle. “If you think you know it all, it’s just omniscient delusion”.

This EP is comprised of 4 of the last 5 songs Turnstiles have written. Therefore it sounds not just fresh but captures a sense of how raucous those live shows must be. The EP was produced by Girl Bands Daniel Fox, and together they have produced a firebrand of a record which will have you stomping your way into 2021.

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