At this point most people who are paying attention to this corner of the music world know what a master Will Yip is at producing records. His work is always fantastic, but it can be hard, based solely on listening, to nail down his sound. This is because he doesn’t have one. Each one of his records seems to have a completely different tone, making it more about the band’s songs and performances than any kind of studio trickery; Turnover’s latest LP Peripheral Vision is no exception.
Where most of their contemporaries are still barreling down the 90’s Emo/Alternative road, Turnover have decided to take the scenic route, which seems to have led them to a sound with a lot of 80’s influence. Look no further than the music video for “New Scream” for evidence. The song features Johnny Marr-esque guitar lines over a vocal with harmonies worthy of Genesis-era Phil Collins. The music video itself looks and sounds like a transfer from a VHS tape, which only adds another awesome layer to the song, though thankfully—at least for some people—this effect is not present on the studio version.
The other two singles from the record, “Cutting my Fingers Off” and “Humming” follow a similar sonic formula, each showcasing the band’s strong songwriting and composing abilities. Examples include the former’s line “You always said that every thought I had was geometric/ I couldn’t think outside my own mind” and the latter’s melody during the line “Without you I won’t make it out/I don’t think I’ll make it out alive.” It’s obvious that Turnover are taking their already strong abilities to the next level, and what’s most impressive about that is the fact that they leave such an impression only three songs in to the album.
Other highlights include “Dizzy on the Comedown” which is a midtempo track that I can only describe as heavy, but not in the way of sound; rather, in the way the music makes the listener feel. It’s cathartic, and makes you want to sit in a chair and not get up until the hypnosis of the album ends. “Take My Head” might be one of the most Smiths-y songs that the smiths didn’t actually write. The big muff’d rhythm guitar is the most 90’s sounding that Peripheral Vision gets, while the upbeat, dance-y beat manages to keep it feeling a bit lighter and happier than the rest of the album, until the 2 o’ clack mark hits, and leaves you in a groggy haze, that quickly cuts back to the uptempo swing before you know what to do. The reworked version of “I Would Hate You If I Could” is another absolute gem. One thing I hate with reworked songs is that vocalists tend to play around with their melodies far more than necessary. Turnover refuses to subscribe to this method, instead leaving the melodies largely intact and opting only for a more full-sounding, slightly dreamy instrumental.
The final result of the band’s hard work certainly pays off. The band ends up sounding more confident on Peripheral Vision than they did on Magnolia. They’ve managed to deliver a record that is even more enjoyable, (No small feat considering how damn good Magnolia is) and is sure to be just as pleasing to fans as it must be to them. By experimenting with the more 80’s-inspired sounds, they’ve created something that sounds fresh and new, but also anchored in the past, and I can’t recommend it enough.