It was way below freezing outside, a couple weeks before the holidays — the kind of cold that requires layers of long sleeves and flannel beneath your jacket. But in the basement of Songbyrd Music House in Washington, D.C., a swirling mass of hardcore kids leapt through the air, sweat flopping off heavy cotton since they had nowhere to stash their Bane and Judge hoodies. Heads narrowly avoided metal poles in a underworld dance of thrown elbows and knee-pumping swarm. Welcome to the gleeful insanity of a Turnstile show.
To love Turnstile — born in the suburbs of D.C. and Baltimore, with an assist from Columbus, Ohio — is to know and accept the big, dumb riffs of bands like Rage Against The Machine, Shelter and even 311. Last year’s Nonstop Feeling built off the band’s singles and EPs, splitting the difference between an aggressive hardcore-punk mentality and a mile-wide-grin melodic sensibility — and, more importantly, playing with its ’90s roots.
Before Turnstile begins work on its debut album for Roadrunner Records, the band’s releasing an EP on its own label, Pop Wig. This is the freewheeling and heavy hardcore the band’s honed to great effect in such a short time, with shout-along choruses and grooves that do more than just open up the pit.
“It felt really good making these songs,” the band tells NPR. “There’s so many inspiring individuals creating things or just being humans, and this singles EP was just a reflection on the importance of letting those things or people just inspire you and experiencing things fully; no physical, sexual, musical genre, world barriers.”
We’re premiering the B-side of the Move Thru Me EP, and for convenience’s sake, the A-side is right below it. The EP closes with a cover of Give‘s “F*** Me Blind,” featuring Petal’s Kiley Lotz on backing vocals; it’s a raucously heavy and fun track about breaking down societal notions on gender and sexual norms. The band adds, “Give from Washington, D.C., rocks ass.”