Everybody has their likes and their dislikes. And we all have those things that we like no matter how much other people hate it. For me, there’s a few. Songs with organ parts; songs with horn sections; 90s-00s ska bands; and female-led pop punk and power pop bands. Chicago’s Turnspit is the perfect example of a band that presses all of my buttons.
Prior to taking the deep dive into metal, I was a punk kid. While metal bands I liked spoke about politics and war, those topics seemed so distant to me. Sure they happened, but what about to me? That’s where pop-punk came in. Bands like Jimmy Eat World or Blink 182 spoke to things that happened in my daily life. Falling in love and getting dumped, dealing with personal hardships or family conflicts, those were things I could really relate to. Turnspit helped me reconnect with those feelings. I can personally relate to issues of saying things I didn’t mean to say (“Apologies I Have So, So Many”), the feelings you have when falling in love and breaking up (“Walk Away”), or watching a relationship fall apart (“Invisible”).
The instrumentation further adds to the bubble gum goodness of Turnspit. Gillian McGhee and Jason Swearingen’s guitars combine in such a sweet way. One is keeping a slightly dirty rhythm while the other plays pop guitar solos in such an agreeable way. The rhythm section of Brad Davis on bass and Dan Tinkler on drums is equally memorable of the bass staying with the chords while the cymbals splash and crash.
Take special note of “Skin”. In this time of the #MeToo movement, it really hits home. McGhee is singing out about the abuse and harassment she’s experienced in her life, and it’s shocking to believe that this behavior is so commonplace. The acoustic performance is absolutely gut-wrenching. With the music stripped of everything but its basics, the performance is stripped bare and lays bare the raw emotion McGhee clearly felt in writing the words.
Apart from the heaviness of “Skin,” this band is chock full of that bubblegum pop-punk goodness that makes me feel nostalgic for teenage angst. Go ahead and check them out. I won’t tell the editors you ditched the doom metal album for some pop punk.