The Turnback
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The Turnback

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

New York City, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
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Dana Ruby
Assistant A&E Editor

New York power-pop band The Turnback hit the stage in Brooklyn, as part of the International Pop Overthrow festival on Nov 7.

Starting at around 4 pm, The Turnback performed eight of their songs from their most recent album, Are We There Yet?, released Oct 2.

The venue? Bar Matchless, a bar with a stage for the bands to perform on located in a side room--more specifically, a converted garage. This offered a very intimate setting, where the viewers of the performance could sit on the benches near the walls, jamming out to the band with old lightbulbs and a disco ball hanging overhead.

The setting also offered a unique performing opportunity-- instead of there being an invisible barrier between the performers and the fans, the intimate atmosphere made it feel more like a jam sesh between the two.

If there was a perfect band for this venue, it would be The Turnback. All four members gave a performance that, like the venue, felt very natural; the two melded so well together that it seemed as though they were the only band that you should find there—not many others would fit.

It’s also no surprise that this is a band that’s been around for over a decade, for during their set, one could see that performing was like a second nature to them.

Just like the brick walls of the venue, The Turnback exposed their raw talent throughout the performance, which in itself offered an amazing contrast of extremely smooth harmonies paired with the rougher sound of the guitar and drums.

They started off the set with their song, “Five Days a Week”. This song truly showcased lead vocalist Kenny Sherman’s ability to not only sing high notes, but to do so in an incredibly clear and smooth matter.

They then moved on to “July”, a song that displayed the harder edge to power pop, with strong vocals from guitarist Todd Gigilo and crisp and distinct sound from the guitars and drums.

The band switched gears for their next song, a performance of “If I Were God”. This song is one of their more nostalgic tunes, one with a slower beat (at least for a song of this band’s genre).

The slower tempo continued with “Unmotivated”, a song that combined both of Sherman and Gigilo’s clear vocals and showcased the confidence of the drummer, Barry Nagel, and the bassist, . They then picked up the tempo for their next song, “Faketown”, which provided a constant, strong beat that everyone in the room could not resist moving to, including the band.

Their energy carried on to their performance of “Revolution Girl”, immediately followed by “A Long Way Home”. In both performances, the band really showed off their musical capabilities with Sherman leading on guitar and Nagel giving a beat you couldn’t help but catch.

They ended their set with “A Place For Me”, a song that through its strong vocals and instrumentals was a great way to conclude their set, as it left the listeners with power-pop ringing in their ears.

Throughout the whole set, The Turnback lived up to their power-pop label, making them a great band to represent the brand; the energy and the music itself that is found on their album translated well onto the stage, as the band performed with a comfortable sense of swagger.

It was through this relaxed attitude and the band’s inability to resist rocking out with one another that made it easy to tell that they were truly doing what they loved. - The Ionian


Deftly straddling the line between pure pop and harder-edged rock on their second full-length effort, the Turnback offer up a 12-song disc that rocks with abandon while still displaying smooth harmonies, perky melodies and hooks piled upon hooks. The New York-based trio takes sort of a “Foo Fighters Meet the Beatles” approach here, with each of the 11 originals being crunchy, punchy and super memorable. (The twelfth track is a rocked up, supercharged cover of the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which keeps the tune’s psychedelic vibe intact while tossing in oodles of close vocal harmonies and a wonderfully melodic guitar solo.)

As far as the originals, the listener can pretty much dive in anywhere and find something to love: the opening salvo, “Faketown,” is an indictment of the less-than-honest (“Can’t cut through the bullshit?/Well, sharpen the knife”) that sounds quite a bit like The Tories (there’s an obscure late ‘90s power pop reference for ya); “Revolution Girl” features some of those previously mentioned fab vocal harmonies (courtesy of Todd Giglio and Kenny Sherman), as well as a keening guitar riff that recalls a beefy cross between “Taxman” and “Day Tripper”; “Reveal” sails along at almost a punky clip, “Unmotivated” slows things down without sacrificing one whit of the band’s energy, and “A Place For Me” is a “rock or be damned” anthem that perfectly showcases the band’s raison d’etre. (“Not quite the underground/Not quite the hip/Not quite the mainstream/I’m a misfit…you can’t stop the singer or the song/That’s a place for me.”)

The cheeky “If I Were God” (“If I were God, I’d send Mrs. Palin to the moon”) is at once hilarious and thought provoking, and is another high point of a record that is a textbook example of how to put the power in power pop. Kudos to Giglio, Sherman and powerhouse drummer Barry Nagel for providing one of 2015’s unexpected highlights.

Check out the band at www.theturnback.com. - See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/turnback-rocks-melodic-abandon#sthash.I5FN1j9s.dpuf - Goldmine Magazine


Powerpop CD Review: Turnback’s Are We There Yet?

The Beatles influence is indisputable from the inside-out (sort of) “Taxman” riff for “Revolution Girl” to the LPs only cover tune, a powerful version of “Tomorrow Never Knows”. However, The Turnback‘s Are We There Yet? is in no way directive. The wonderful harmonies and memorable hooks alone make it a cut above just about anything else I’ve heard this year. Are We There Yet, has a muscular quality to it (similar to XTC‘s Black Sea, perhaps) that takes these songs over the top, a sound that I imagine translates very well to the live stage.

cover-turnjbackAfter having spent a little time in Hollywood recently, “Faketown” immediately hit home. A powerful rant against the music industry, it sets the table perfectly for the rest of the LP. “Revolution Girl” is a bit of Beatles Revolver era pop powered by an infectious guitar riff that sort of reminded me of an inverted “Taxman”. Not at all derivative (like The Jam’s blatant “Start” ripoff), it creates a texture that carries the song – a real joy to listen to. “July” is a melodic gem and the harmonies on “First Song of Summer” are sure to please even the most hardcore fans of harmony bands. “Unmotivated”, “A Long Way Home”, “A Place for Me” and “Five Day’s a Week” are also standout tracks. Hell – that’s nearly every track, isn’t it?

The Turnback draw their sound from powerpop lineage of each decade from the 60’s until now. Together, these influences make for a wonderful concoction – something that sounds fresh and new while at the same time feeling somewhat familiar. Are these guys Husker Du for the new millennium? I dunno but I can tell you that Are We There Yet? is one of the best powerpop LPs of this year. Highly recommended. - Powerpop Carolina


Power pop isn’t dead and The Turnback are here to prove it. Actually, this style of pop/rock has managed to weather the fickle taste of the music buying public over the years as it ran from grunge, to dance, to Americana and back. While The Turnback sound familiar, in a good way, they also bring a fresh spin to the music. Oddly, there is little biographical info on the trio, but from the pictures on their website they look like they’ve been at this a while. Fortunately, experience works in their favor and that of the listener.

Their second album, Are We There Yet? also defies convention as it is anything but a sophomore slump. “Five Days a Week” is the album’s first single and is a good indication of what this New York City-based trio is up to, though there are several other songs that would have been an even better choice.

“Faketown,” the opening track, roots itself in the mid-90s, but with a slightly rockier edge. Think of a punchier Gin Blossoms. The chorus has a great hook, too. Of course, 90s bands weren’t without their influences including 60s era rock and pop. The Turnback similarly take a few cues from that time period, particularly in the harmonies. “Revolution Girl” demonstrates this right down to its Summer of Love-inspired title.

“If I Were God” gets a little political and theological as suggestions on the future of Sarah Palin are discussed. God also, as it turns out, has a few other things he’d like to get off his chest.

Things border on the punky with “Reveal” and “A Place for Me.” The former sounds like mid-80s Upper Midwest punk, a la Husker Du, while the latter has more of a Los Angeles punk feel from the same era. But again, The Turnback make it their own and make it sound contemporary. If you like more straight ahead rock, try out “July” or “First Song of Summer.” Another rocker is “A Long Way Home.”

Keeping a cohesive sound, but adeptly exploring several avenues of rock and pop, The Turnback should be right up your alley.

9 Turns Out of 10 - POP CULTURE BEAST


THE TURNBACK-Are We There Yet?

New York City area band, The Turnback, released their new album Are We There Yet? with very little fanfare. There should have been a parade!!

The album opens with ‘Faketown‘, a wonderfully aggressive track with a cool shuffle feel, and them shifts into a wonderous blend of 1960s pop and 1980s power pop. The sound is addictive! The vocals are dynamite. Just listen to ‘Revolution Girl‘ which has an exceptional harmonized vocal track, and pay attention to the riff on ‘July‘ and ‘If I Were God‘. The hooks on ‘A Place For Me‘ and ‘First Song Of Summer‘ are outstanding. It was incredibly difficult to pull a favorite track off of this album, however we have 2: ‘Five Days A Week‘ brings a wonderful melody, a sweet riff, great harmonies, and some cool changes together, and finishes with an incredible Beatlesque ending. And while we are on the subject of The Beatles, Turnback have placed a cover of The Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows‘ on the album. Turns out to be one of the best covers of a Beatle song I have ever heard! The harmonies are to die for, and they even work in the riff from ‘Taxman’ for good measure. Exceptionally well done!

Are We There Yet is way cool Power Pop. I seem to be involved in a love affair with this album, It makes me happy, and asks for nothing in return. It has me singing around the house. The songs are exceptional, with great melodies, wonderful harmonies, dynamite bridges & choruses, and unforgettable hooks. The Turnback have delivered an incredibly great album, that I am referring to as Power Pop of the new millennium! The production is wonderful. There is a sweet balance here, with nothing over the top. A contender for The I Can’t Believe My Earz Top Indie Album of 2015!! It is pure power pop perfection!! Check it out here for yourself, and get a dozen or so copies. Give them to your family and friends. Or keep them all for yourself. I would. And if they ever hold a parade for this release, I will be there, front and centre, with a truckload of ticker tape. - I CAN'T BELIEVE MY EARZ


After the strong Beatlesque debut, the Turnback move more toward a heavier sound on this sophomore effort, “Are We There Yet?” Opening with the hard charging riffs of “Faketown” its a cynical rant about the music industry, and bands will have to “cut through the bullshit with a sharper knife.” Even with a harder edge, The Turnback still sings those exceptional 3 part harmonies throughout the album. The standout single “Five Days A Week” has a soaring chorus that will make you a fan after the first listen. And the band still dabbles in 60’s psychedelics with “Revolution Girl,” but often I hear musical cues of late 70’s album era (i.e. Boston) in “A Long Way Home.”

“Unmotivated” slows thing down to a power ballad tempo, as Kenny Sherman leads the vocal to a brilliant layered melody with its descending chords asking us “is the song outdated?” The bright “A Place For Me,” is a proud theme for anyone who’s ever felt out of the mainstream. Uptempo tunes rule here as “July” and “First Song of Summer” follow a theme, and the unconventional “If I Were God” is a response to biblical misinterpretations with a deity telling us to “stop spreading these stories about me.” Each track is solid, including a cover of The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” and overall exceeds expectations from the first album. Makes my top ten of 2015 list for sure, so pre-order it now! - Powerpopaholic


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. - Something Else!


Music Review of “Are We There Yet?” by The Turnback (Released October 2, 2015)

By Greg Gargs Allard

Ever wonder how the Beatles might have sounded if they had gone forward in time, hung out with Green Day for a few months and then went back to the sixties? Well, look no further than the Turnback’s just released second album.

Are We There Yet?, the band’s follow-up to their mighty-fine 2011 Drawn in Chalk album, continues the theme of trying to make it in a music industry that is just a vestige of its former self, while dealing with the every day rigors for the struggle for existence on earth as we know it.

The theme of staying in bed in a world that one doesn’t feel fit for, both because your thoughts are too real and the establishment is too plastic, runs rampant in the rapid, chord-crunching opening track “Faketown” and lead singer’s Todd Giglio’s lyrics:

“Why should I compromise?
How do I face the lies ahead?
Who should I villainize
That keeps me alive but leaves me dead?”

The second track, “Five Days a Week” is about the 9 to 5 grind that keeps body, mind and soul imprisoned together for someone who is meant for something bigger. Lead guitarist and singer Kenny Sherman’s lyrics captures the mood of anyone trying to get by by doing the needful, while taking time out for developing one’s real career interest:

“Two days a week I follow my dream,
And work up the strength to somehow get
through those five days a week.”

The band, which hails from the New York City area, has been together since 1997 and consists of Todd Giglio on rhythm guitar and lead vocals; Kenny Sherman on lead guitar, bass guitar and lead vocals; and Barry Nagel on drums and bass guitar. Lenny Rocillo played the bass on “Revolution Girl” and “Unmotivated” for the album. Giglio and Sherman are the major songwriters, although all of the band members contribute and get equal songwriting credits on every song.

“Reveal” is a punky Giglio number with a catchy chorus.

“Unmotivated” is the lone Nagel number. It works well because Giglio and Sherman sing together harmonically and declare “I’m not lazy, I’m just tired,” a line that many people can surely relate to.

“July” like “Faketown,” another number written by Giglio, has single material written all over it. In it, like all the cuts in the album, the band members play tightly, as if they had spent years together on the road and motel rooms together.

“If I Were God,” is a melodic number written by Sherman that tackles such ideas as anthropomorphism and using one’s deity as a scapegoat. The lyrics, “Get off of your knees/Let’s go get an ice cream soda/Why don’t we just sit around and shoot the breeze?” is reminiscent of Joan Osborne’s hit “One of Us.” The song also seems to include guitar-riff shout outs to Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” and John Lennon’s “She Said” from the Beatles’ Revolver LP.

Speaking of Revolver, which happens to be my favorite album of all time at the moment, Are We There Yet seems to reference it at least four times as far as I can tell. Besides the aforementioned “If I Were God,” in the driving rocker “Revolution Girl,” written by both Giglio and Sherman, Kenny Sherman’s guitar sounds like it was taken from the very grooves of the Beatles’ Revolver album, and almost as if George Harrison was there looking on with a flattered and wry smile on his face as Kenny played.

Which brings us back to the Beatles’ Revolver album yet again with the Turnback’s last song of the LP, a cover of “Tomorrow Never Knows.” It is sung collaboratively, in anthem-like fashion, as if it’s saying you’ll find more spirituality in this song than at almost any church you care to visit. The guitar solo in the middle is a knock out. And here’s the kicker – the song appears to end with a little shout out to the “Tax Man.”

Although it’s hard to pick a favorite in this collection of jewels, the one I’m leaning toward at the moment is “A Long Way Home,” an introspective and infectious rocker full of thoughtful quips like “This must be the prequel to a sequel that may never be…” and “Now and then when the spirit moves me, I take off my coat and I loosen my tie/I roll up my sleeves and I play ’til I’m filthy but no one can say I don’t try.”

Well, thanks for trying guys because music like this keeps hope alive for modern musicians and fans everywhere that perhaps the dark ages will not fully engulf us after all. - Tunegroover


had the pleasure of growing up in the 1980’s. The music through that time frame provided some incredible vocals, but the songs were strange; that’s the best way I can describe it.

Then the 1990’s came and things changed. Rock divided into Pop Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Grunge and Alternative genres, which gave you a variety of sounds and styles to enjoy. It was probably one the most exciting times for music since the 1960’s and 70’s which was lost to the electronic sound of the 80’s.

Lets jump to today’s music because around 2009 things changed again. Alternative music went to the wayside leaving pop rock to take it’s place, it’s still there but it’s hard to find. It’s quite a disappointment to me because everyone sounds breathy and half stoned. I longed for the alternative feel of the 1990’s.

However a week ago I was introduced to The Turnback band. Seeing their photograph and the CD, I got excited because I felt like this band could be the answer to my need for NEW alternative rock. I must admit I was skeptical because I wasn’t sure if when I placed the CD in that I would get that grungy, breathy vocals or those singers that have that sound but also sound stoned.

I must say, The Turnback lived up to their name. They turned back time to give me the alternative yet pop rock feel blended into one giving me a nostalgic blast to the 1990’s while keeping the sound fresh and modern.

HALLELUJAH, a band with talent who breaks the terrible style adapted by the bands that sound like grungy untalented stoned artists.

This band, if I had to compare them to anyone, bears an eerie resemblance to the sound and style of the Foo Fighters; which happens to be one of my favorite bands.

The Turnback’s “Are We There Yet?” full length album provides smooth, clean vocals. Great upbeat hooks, and gives the new generation the sound of what real alternative rock sounds like.

“Are We There Yet” was masterfully produced and the songs were expertly written.

I highly recommend this album. If you grew up in the 90s, this album gives you the sounds we’re missing with the modern upgrade we are used to today. - AME Magazine


“It is kind of ridiculous, to be honest, to be doing music in your 40s, because the style of music we play is not a popular style of music.”

The words from Todd Giglio, frontman for New York power pop trio The Turnback, are as honest and blunt as you can get, but don’t take those words as a sign of surrender. If anything, the 47-year-old and his bandmates (Barry Nagel and Kenny Sherman) are dug in and ready for the war ahead, beginning with today’s appearance at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless.

It’s a war being fought not just for personal reasons and for the underappreciated power pop genre, but for the rest of the 40 and 50-somethings who still want to be creative and live their dreams. Some might call it hokey; I’ll call it inspirational, and with their second album Are We There Yet? Drawing rave reviews, The Turnback are not going away without a fight.

“We tried to approach it a little more commercially on this album, giving it a little harder edge, but still with the power pop influence that we’ve always had,” Giglio said. “It’s something that might be able to even get pushed to a younger generation. But I still get the comment ‘why are you doing this?’ and sometimes I question that myself. When you do a show in New York City and one person shows up, it’s frustrating, but that’s part of the business. You have to have a thick skin to push yourself through it, or you do have to give it up.”

You can consider Giglio a lifer in this business, even though there have been plenty of obstacles along the way. A little more than six years ago, Giglio and college buddy (and future brother-in-law) Chris Springer turned an idea for a music video for his song “Nowhere” into a film, Drawing with Chalk.

“It went from making a video to a full out feature film,” he said. “How the hell that happened, it must have been one too many beers.”

Giglio laughs, and while he admits that he saw the film as a vehicle for his music, for anyone who has walked that line between chasing a dream and still trying to make ends meet and satisfy everyone else in your life, it’s a brilliant film (and one available for free on YouTube).

One that hit home for a lot of folks.

“It actually ended up filling a void for quite a few musicians we met along the road who basically said ‘you came into my living room,’ or ‘you came into my kitchen. You had to have done that to film these scenes.’”

Critics weren’t exactly on board though, with the New York Times being particularly brutal. That hurt, but Giglio still kept in mind who he made it for, and it wasn’t for the critics.

“You always have that dream of being the next Brothers McMullen,” he said. “And of course, that didn’t happen. But It was made for the 99.9% of those who don’t make it. We’ve seen the Hollywood movie with the struggling band that gets the big success. That’s been done. But the struggling band that never gets it, that’s really the story of almost everyone, and that’s why I did do it.”

Will The Turnback be the .1 percent that does make it? Giglio and company are certainly going to try, and listening to both albums, it’s clear that they’ve got the songwriting and musical chops to get it done, not to mention the hooks that are a hallmark of their style. Now it’s about getting the rest of the listening public on board, and for any band, that’s the issue.

“It’s an art form, it’s creative expression,” he said. “And as a listener, you have to be able to be moved by it – and not be moved into the next room, but get the feeling, the vibe. It should be able to give you a feeling, and music is losing that feeling. So I am not going to let this genre of music dissipate in my lifetime. It can’t, because where the hell is it gonna go? It’s been 20 years since grunge, and it’s been a stalemate.

“But when we do get reviews, people who are intellectually motivated really get it and grasp it,” Giglio continues. “Those who look at it on the surface, they don’t. Which is good, because I’d rather have the people who get it, who understand it and who can read into the lyrics or get moved by whatever content we’re trying to give them. They’re the ones we’re trying to relate to.”

And he’s not about to walk away.

“I’m not ready to give up,” he said. “It’s part of what makes me who I am. I don’t consider myself a great actor. I’m a decent actor, nothing special. But I think musically I have more to say and have more to offer. I’m fighting that good fight because I just close my eyes and I dream about what it would be like to say our job today is to get up, work on new music, hit the gym, go play a kickass show, go home, get some sleep and do it all over the next day. That’s probably why we’re still doing it, because I’m not ready to say ‘okay, I gave it a shot.’ Nope, not yet.” - The Examiner


THE TURNBACK: Are We There Yet?

The Turnback accepts the challenge of writing tight power pop songs not to exceed one octave in range! Or so it seems through the first half of the album, recalling Redd Kross’ Researching the Blues. “Five Days A Week” opens up a little with a sweet bridge as the boys return again and again to the A/B harmonies as practiced by the dB’s. Both “Reveal” and “July” are reminiscent of the Kinks, in melody and riffing. “A Place For Me” features a wider pallet with Hawks-like chords, rich and sweet as Midwest wheat. “Seconds” is my favorite thanks to a stunning bridge while “A Long Way Home” is Who-like in ambition with the return of those A/B harmonies.

Four and a half stars. - Pop Geek Heaven


The Turnback regresan con su nuevo trabajo "Are We There Yet?". A difencia de su "Drown In Chalk" del año 2011, donde el sonido global del álbum era mas Beatle, en este nuevo apuestan por un sonido mas contundente y cercano al Powerpop de los 90. Temas como "Faketown" recuerda a los Rocket from the Cript. "Reveal" mas Punk/Pop en la onda Bad Religion, y "July" que suena a los Superdrag. Aun después de este nuevo giro en su sonido, los Turnback mantienen esa base Beatle de edulcoradas melodías y las bonitas y empastadas voces de Todd Giglio y Kenny Sherman que se aprecia en temas como "Revolution Girl" y el vitaminado cover de los propios Beatles "Tomorrow Never Nows". En resumen el nuevo álbum The Turback esa una apuesta por un sonido mas directo pero sin estridencias porque no olvidemos que ellos son y serán una banda de Powerpop. - mufoandthings


Discography

Are We There Yet? (2015)

Drawn In Chalk (2011)

Photos

Bio

"Foo Fighters meets The Beatles" - Goldmine Magazine.


Bridging the gap between classic and contemporary music, The Turnback, rocks with melody, harmony, power and style.  The Turnback is a band that what you hear, is what you hear: on the album is what is on the stage.  Pure passion and love for the music.  Their debut album, Drawn In Chalk, received numerous high praises and made quite a few top 10 lists and their latest album, Are We There Yet? not only continues the trend but exceeds it.  Guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your head moving (and don't forget about the mind), The Turnback is here to stay.

Band Members