The Turnback – Are We There Yet? (2015)

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It’s both a blessing and a curse when a band’s debut album reaps raves from sea to shining sea. The blessing, of course is, acceptance the first time around, and the curse is the pressure to not only knock the audience dead with a repeat performance, but surpass expectations.

The Turnback is one band finding themselves in such a position, as their freshman album Drawn in Chalk was deemed a million-watt masterpiece by practically every single person who had the pleasure of hearing it. Well, the guys can stop sweating bullets now, because Are We There Yet? is fabulous follow-up and confirms they’re here to stay.

Power pop may be a lazy way of describing the genre of the album, but that’s exactly the kind of music the Turnback plays. Guitars that rattle and chime, throttling drums, plucky vocals and humongous harmonies outfit the pure and practical tunes with no apologies.

Aside from the fact that Are We There Yet? features songs that encourage hand-clapping, foot stomping and humming your head off to, the Turnback sound as if they are having so much fun that you can’t help but root for them and dig what they are doing.

Considering each number on the Turnback’s Are We There Yet? is so energetic, hooky, and sticks hard and fast to the band’s all abs and no flab philosophy, it makes for an easy listen. But some of my personal favorite songs are “Five Days a Week,” “Revolution Girl,” “July,” “Faketown,” and “If I Were God,” which hurls potshots at Sarah Palin. A cool cover of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s psychedelic epic “Tomorrow Never Knows” also crashes the party.

Sticky-fingering select resources from bands like the Who, Cheap Trick and Fountains of Wayne, then breathing new life into their witty songs, the Turnback do an exemplary job of keeping the power pop fire burning. Swinging, grooving and bursting with courage and enthusiasm, the Turnback’s Are We There Yet? is a goldmine of tasty treats.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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