The Turnback “Are We There Yet?”
After the strong Beatlesque debut, the Turnback move more toward a heavier sound on this sophomore effort, “Are We There Yet?” Opening with the hard charging riffs of “Faketown” its a cynical rant about the music industry, and bands will have to “cut through the bullshit with a sharper knife.” Even with a harder edge, The Turnback still sings those exceptional 3 part harmonies throughout the album. The standout single “Five Days A Week” has a soaring chorus that will make you a fan after the first listen. And the band still dabbles in 60’s psychedelics with “Revolution Girl,” but often I hear musical cues of late 70’s album era (i.e. Boston) in “A Long Way Home.”
“Unmotivated” slows thing down to a power ballad tempo, as Kenny Sherman leads the vocal to a brilliant layered melody with its descending chords asking us “is the song outdated?” The bright “A Place For Me,” is a proud theme for anyone who’s ever felt out of the mainstream. Uptempo tunes rule here as “July” and “First Song of Summer” follow a theme, and the unconventional “If I Were God” is a response to biblical misinterpretations with a deity telling us to “stop spreading these stories about me.” Each track is solid, including a cover of The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” and overall exceeds expectations from the first album. Makes my top ten of 2015 list for sure, so pre-order it now!
The Key Frames “Monophone Heart” EP
Toronto’s Key Frames are a driving roots-rock outfit with a strong melodic sensibility, starting with the soaring harmonies and banjo of “Won’t Miss It.” The song has the clear influence of Big Star here. Next the fuzz guitar combines with the banjo for “Tidal Wave,” another ear-worm full of big beats and riffs. “Road To You” takes a trip through the back country, the swagger of Johnny Cash is front and center.
But the power pop gold is found in “True Believer” with its two-minutes of sweet melody and “la la la” backing chorus. Each song is a high quality production and makes this a highly recommended EP without any filler. I look forward to the full length album in the near future.