Updated: Jun 8
Galway punks say goodbye and bow out in style with their last single - Bow Down
Track: Bow Down
Released: June 8 2022
It's a sad and poignant day at Blowtorch Records. Turnstiles have been with us almost since our inception and together we have navigated the turbulent and at times perilous seas of the music business. Deciding to steam back into harbour with their punk ensigns proudly flying high, they leave us with one final broadside - Bow Down.
Fresh from a triumphant performance at Dublin's Forbidden Fruit festival on June 5, Turnstiles are leaving the building in style with this last trademark single. The first track they ever wrote (at their first practice) was also their shortest Wasting Away. And neatly bookending their recorded output is their longest Bow Down.
It also neatly encapsulates the songwriting progress this Galway quintet have made. As I wrote in our blog welcoming the release of their debut (and only) EP:
"Turnstiles only formed in early 2019 yet already they have mirrored and condensed the musical evolution of punk to post-punk in the late 70s and early 80s. From their brilliantly simple (and simply brilliant) debut Wasting Away, their sound has evolved to a denser more nuanced sound while still retaining their infectious energy and attack."
Bow Down opens with a complex break beat from king of the drum stool Luke Mulliez before being joined, as on previous single Dig It Out, by his brother in rhythm, bassman Jake Tiernan. Frontman Callum Mitchell, also on lyric writing duties, comes in with "shunned from the world upon your arrival, let in to the country with hope of survival" before Colm Sweeney and Cillian Ryan let loose their treble heavy guitars. Forgive the name checks - it might be the last chance I get.
In some ways it's what you've come to expect yet it's still thrilling. As John Peel said of the Fall "they are always different, they are always the same". What they are is still evolving, even as they end. A political, post punk salvo aimed at Ireland's egregious Direct Provision refugee system ("shake the hand of the falsifier and bow down now to the decider") backed by a hip hop/post punk backing. Who knows where they could have gone?
Turnstiles also feature on this compilation vinyl
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