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Heavy Band of the Year Turnstile Refused to Play By the Rules, Proved Rock’s Not Dead in 2021

Brendan Yates on the band's stellar Glow On album, dynamic live shows, and genre-defying mentality

Turnstile, photo by Jimmy Fontaine
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    Our 2021 Annual Report continues with the announcement of Turnstile as our Heavy Band of the Year, and a video interview with the group’s singer, Brendan Yates. As the year winds down, stay tuned for more awards, lists, and articles about the best music, film, and TV of 2021. You can find it all in one place here.


    Anyone subscribing to the notion that “rock is dead” hasn’t yet been exposed to Turnstile. The Baltimore act is injecting new life into rock music by refusing to bow to any conventions, whether on the stage or in the studio.

    Turnstile’s live shows were already the stuff of legend before the calendar flipped to 2021, evoking the excitement and unpredictability of hardcore’s ’80s heyday for a new generation of music fans.

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    Having earned critical acclaim with their 2018 sophomore album, Time & Space, the band continued its sonic evolution on its stellar 2021 album, Glow On (which we named No. 4 on our Top Albums of 2021 list). After playing a fall outing supporting $uicide Boy$, Turnstile will deliver their high-energy live shows on a recently announced 2022 headlining North American tour, with tickets available here.

    Prior to the release of Glow On, Turnstile offered up a taste of what’s to come on the EP and short film Turnstile Love Connection, containing four songs that also appear on the full-length. The EP’s lead single “Mystery” (also Glow On‘s leadoff track) is as infectious a rock song as any that was released in 2021, with its trippy intro, Nirvana-like guitar riffs, and sing-along hardcore chorus.

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