Without a doubt, this is Tickets There’s favorite Irish album of all time. Now, when it comes to Turn I will happily admit to being fully biased, as I am with almost everything I write except the majority of the MySpace reviews. As far as I’m concerned, Turn were one of the greatest Irish band ever to emerge from the great Emerald Isle in the last twenty years. Oliver Cole’s vocals, guitar melodies, riffs and songwriting talent, mixed with Gavin Fox’s force, energy and writing skills all backed by Ian Meldays forceful command of all things rhythm makes the Kell’s trio kings in my book. Now, that may seem a little over the top and dramatic but I’ve been watching a lot of ROME recently so forgive me.
I first discovered Turn around 2002, shortly after the released the Another Year Over / Summer Song single and within a few months that opened my eyes to an amazingly impressive Irish scene I knew nothing about before. I hadn’t even heard a whisper of bands like Bell X1, Berkeley, Paddy Casey or many of the other big names around the country at the time. For someone who was as devoted to music I found this a little odd and began a quest to seek out some of this country’s finest talent. After seven years I still haven’t found many bands that compare to the power of Turns records and even fewer that can match their amazing live shows.
When Forward came out in 2003 it was praised as the album everyone who’d been following them from the late nineties knew they had in them. In sharp contrast to their third and last album, Forward’s sound was generally down beat with very few exceptions. It saw them grow from the hard guitars sound of their debut (Antisocial) and move onto more melodic song structures. Opening song, You Got Style really captures the feel of the entire record. A slow bruising piece that builds and builds as the song evolves. Dumb as it Is follows and adds some light after the darkness of You Got Style. A nice, upbeat with restrained bass lines thumping throughout with a sharp change to guitars for the chorus bursts. This is the second song written by Ian Melady to appear on a Turn record (the first being Queen of my Heart from Antisocial). Third track Harder is one of few heavy guitar tracks on the album and in comparison to the likes of Beretta, Beeswax or Too Much Makeup from the earlier outputs, it comes cross musically light but atmospherically heavy.
Summer Song gives the album a slower, more acoustic based before the bands legendary anthem, In Position comes in and blows everything away. One of the most perfectly composed songs the band have ever written and a solid fan favorite. Without You is more obviously a love song than any of the others on Forward with more harmony based melodies and upbeat guitar and piano’s rather than the down trodden sound that dominates the rest of the album. Another Year Over is another one of the albums upbeat anthems. Not much you can say about this except the fact that it’s fucking amazing and the chorus is so heavy live it’ll make your ears bleed. Ain’t it a Love is possibly the heaviest song on the album and it harks back to their earlier material without copying the same styles the band used before. Very fast, very heavy and very brilliant (Can you say very brilliant? Well I just did).
Can’t keep Waiting is similar in tones to You Got Style and at the same time, sounds nothing like it. It’s a little sadder in its tones and much more simplistic. Really atmospheric and well done. Like Never Needed from the bands Check my Ears EP, Can’t Keep Waiting doesn’t rely on several verses of poetry to carry it though, it’s a one liner folks and it works well. No More (I Close My Eyes) is another of those lovey songs, like most of Turn’s outputs. A lot of vocal stretches and a very low, smooth sound…until you get about half way in and the full guitars and vocal harmonies are released. Even Though is one of the nicest acoustic songs the band have ever written. Very emotionally based again and only listenable sometimes. Definitely not for people in a good mood. And finally we come to the album’s title song, Forward. It’s great as well
Turn have been split up for over three years now though (god, it seems like a hell of a lot longer than that), but their music is still out there with new fans still discovering them. If you didn’t like Humanzi, make Forward the album you send your scouts out for this Christmas.