Step 2 Rhythm – Previewing Turnstile at El Corazon

Author: Julia Schwab

Punk gets boring. I’m sure many people would disagree, but at least from my experience, a lot of bands in punk end up sounding the same. In my opinion, punk is about creating something new and pushing boundaries, and I feel like that’s an aspect of punk’s roots that the genre has lost overtime. When you go to a show and see three bands pretty much doing the same thing, it can lose its spark. That’s why I’ve always admired Baltimore experimental hardcore band (for lack of better labeling), Turnstile. Turnstile brings something refreshing to this punk/hardcore scene, but not just in subtleties that most bands use to be different. Turnstile beats to its own drums, and those drums back some pretty fun and energized sounds. I can’t wait to see Turnstile for my third time at El Corazon with some other great bands Touché Amoré, Culture Abuse, and Razorbumps.

Photo by Nic Samayao

Until now, I’ve never heard of Texas four piece band Razorbumps. Razorbumps is on the same label as Turnstile, Pop Wig, and seems to be on the same wave of experimenting with punk. Upon listening, I was impressed with the band’s multifaceted approach to post-punk with playful pop energy, low-fi undertones, and classic garage punk thrash. I look forward to seeing them live, as they’re a band I can see myself getting into.

Next in the lineup will be Culture Abuse, a band I’m familiar with and have seen before. Culture Abuse is from the Bay Area like I am, so I’ve been able to see them at classic venues like 924 Gilman. The band has described themselves as “kinda grunge, kinda punk, kinda hardcore, definitely a good time,” and they experiment with tons of other sounds as well. After releasing their debut LP Peachlast year, they left Pop Wig to sign to Epitaph Records in anticipation for their sophomore album Bay Dream releasing this summer. Culture Abuse is a band I could never really get into for how far out there they sometimes push punk, but now I’m beginning to appreciate it more.

Before Turnstile, will be a very well-known and influential band in the punk scene, Touche Amore. Touche Amore has been a band for over 10 years now, and within that time they’ve played DIY events like Seattle’s Rainfest to big events like Jay Z’s Made in America festival alongside artists like Rihanna, Coldplay, and Lil Wayne. Somehow, they make emotional hardcore fairly accessible. Songwriter and vocalist Jeremy Bolm pulls from feelings of anxiety, depression, and self-doubt in their music, chronicling the journeys those issues entail. Their most recent album, Stage Four, is their most ambitious album yet, with an incredibly intimate account of Bolm’s grief from his mother’s passing. The band has developed their sound to be enticing with room for melodic initiative combined with heavier energy. Touche Amore will draw in a crowd of its own, for they have made a definite name for themselves over time.

Finally, of course, will be Turnstile. Turnstile’s willingness to break hardcore’s rules has paid off over time, even in the midst of purist criticism. They’re also a really fun band to see live for their melody and groove incorporated into contagious energy. Although they’re not quite a hardcore band, especially more recently as they’ve continued to deviate, they are the most comfortable “heavier” band for me to see live. Turnstile can be fun for everyone, and I don’t feel excluded as a girl like I sometimes do in hardcore. In February, they released their third album, Time and Space.

Photo by Angela Owens

Turnstile, Touche Amore, Culture Abuse, and Razorbumps will be playing El Corazon on April 17th. Doors open at 6:00PM and the event is all ages. Tickets are available here.

JULIA SCHWAB | Uhhh | KXSU Music Reporter

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