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ATP! Album Review: Turnover – Magnolia

Turnover has been making an impressive debut. Even with only one EP and a split with Citizen under their belt, the Virginia Beach quintet has proven to the pop-punk community that they can play. Their awaited full-length Magnolia has been viewed as a more “mature” record compared to their EP. Its usually strange when bands make shifts in sound, but it seems that Turnover are approaching that challenge head-on.

The LP opens with 'Shiver;' Turnover didn’t really waste any time with epic openings or beginning monologues. Instead you jump right in to Magnolia and are quickly surprised by the vocals. Austin Getz puts you right in to those east coast kind of cold nights as he longs for someone to hold, like the many of us listening.

'Most of the Time' is one of the few times on the album we hear any kind of the old Turnover that was on their EP. It’s the kind of song you throw your fist up and yell back at the singer. Fast drums and guitars correspond perfectly with Getz’s vocals and define the song. This song is almost a continuation of that search for someone we found in 'Shiver.'

With a title like 'Wither,' it is clear at this point that Turnover is not making sunshine and smiles kind of record. 'Wither' combines the previous tracks in to a blend of “give me a chance” with a side of “everything is empty without you.” Sadly, I don’t think they serve this drink at Jamba Juice.

Honestly the songs kind of clump together in the middle part of the album. There is a brief moment of excitement at the beginning 'Bloom.' It seemed a little more reminiscent of “Time” until about 1:26 where the track kind of rode off the trail and got stuck in a bank of mud. The song quickly became less of a crowd-romper and changed in to something you might hear at the end of a Hawthorne Heights album, not something needed on a pop-punk record. The vocals start out strong and carried the song right up until they kind of ran together with the background sound, slow and rather droning. While it carried the same nostalgic tone throughout the song, it could have simply done without the tempo shift.

The next three tracks – 'Pray for Me,' 'Hallow' and 'To The Bottom' - could have easily been one longer song. It was the moment when the album was no longer playing but simply became background noise. While palm-mutes and strong drums characterize the overall sounds of the songs, the vocals lacked interest and clarity that caused them to become fuzzy and upstaged by the rest of the band. The songs ran together not solely because of the vocals, but the songs lacked an all-around variety from being too dependent on distortion. Making each song as predictable as the last.

The album then got back on its trail as you ride in to 'Like a Whisper.' While the theme of the song is like much of pop-punk music, their mix of irony and regret in the lyrics gave the album a much-needed push and excitement we didn’t get from previous tracks. It seems to be the song that “Bloom” was trying to be, given that 'Whisper' does not really lose momentum and is still crowd-surfable.

The album ends on a downer. The acoustic lullaby 'Flicker and Fade' is stripped down and fueled by every male hormone. It takes a Romeo and Juliet sense of danger and a sincerity that gives the song a genuine feeling of desire and tranquility. 'Daydreaming' is a step above 'Pray for Me' but doesn’t have the kind of closure or finale that is needed to be an album-ender. It ends on the same note of searching and confusion we were introduced to at the beginning of the album, but finishes with kind of a flop leaving something to be desired by the listener.

Given, Magnolia has some solid tracks, but they are sadly balanced out by the rather dismal tracks that hold the album back from it’s full potential. It is a departure from their earlier works but doesn’t rise to the same caliber as their EP. However, one must take in to account that this is still Turnover’s debut LP. They have time to find their footing and refine their sound. This album may not be on the same level as their previous tracks, but that does not discount the fact that Turnover is a solid band that will soon be making their way on to magazine covers.

3.75/5

Jordan Wyman

Magnolia is out now via Run For Cover Records.