The Turnbull AC's
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Emphatic and complex, dark and twisted, The Turnbull ACs aren’t aiming for pop stardom—songs about morgues and murder are evidence enough of that. But while they write songs that casual listeners might find too challenging (both musically and lyrically), more discerning rock fans will find strokes of brilliance in their debut self-titled LP.

Dan Mecher’s passionate vocals carry this album and never grow tiresome. His voice quakes and quivers with intensity like a deeper-timbered Conor Oberst, and his outbursts of emotion are capable of taking a song to the next level. Mecher’s musical compositions can wander a little too much at times, even by indie rock standards; but when he reins them into cohesive form, the results are extremely rewarding.

The smart and dangerous opening track, “Disco Bomber,” is the best on the album. Its Bonnie and Clyde romanticism and wanderlust are as enticing as the exhilarating jangle of guitars that gracefully alight on dissonant notes before resolving themselves every time. Unfortunately, after such a high water mark, “Pretty Girls Don’t Go to Heaven” is a disappointment—Mecher’s vocals are buried in the mix, and the song itself is all over the place. “In the Attic” quickly makes up for it though, followed by the somber ballad “Funeral Kisses.”

“Ghost Town Land” fails to deliver after an intriguing first verse, and at this point the album risks losing its way. “Virgin Ears,” “Come on Back,” and “St. Beale’s Hospital” all display flashes of brilliance, but don’t quite follow through. The first is a well-mixed and pleasing song with great lyrics, but would have been better served if it ended with its climactic “we all make mistakes" refrain; the latter sports fun backing vocal arrangements and interweaves a complicated verse composition with a terrifically catchy chorus… but again goes on longer than was probably necessary.

The back end of the album seals the deal, however, as if there was ever any doubt. “Tek-9’s and Cadillacs” is a great, complex rock song, and “Red in the Fountain,” with its lurching, creepster feel, comes off like The Doors’ “People Are Strange” on steroids. And while the second best song doesn’t manifest itself until the very last track, “Angels on Highway 27” is well worth waiting for. Its gory intro, sung over the drone of a church organ, unfolds into a fun, up-tempo alt-country number with a redemptive storyline, truly wonderful lyrics, and a powerful crescendo.
- Dissolver Magazine


Known as one of Cincinnati's hottest up and coming bands, the Turnbull AC's have spent the past year rigorously writing, recording, and touring for their May-released self titled debut. Not to be confused with a Newcastle electronica outfit by the same name (minus the definite article), the AC's fuse their influences ranging from Johnny Casy to Bright Eyes (at times the similarity is uncanny) to create bustling lo-fi indie rock. Throughout their debut release, it is the vocals of front man Dan Mecher that remain front and center. His simple but impassioned narrations of run-away romances and modern anxiety flow like poetry over the lilting instrumentation. I actually stumbled upon this band (and Mecher himself) in a rather accidental way, but am entirely glad that I was lucky enough to come across the band. The Turnbull AC's have had help from theirhometown, whether through indie-radio innovators Woxy.com or the recent Desdemona Festival, and hope to achieve further recognition still. Look for this Cincinnati quartet to emabark on a considerable tour this fall. - Indietastic.net


Exerpt:

"The hardest working band in the city is also one of the best. Turnbull played so many dates in town this year its hard not to notice them. But they are not even close to wearing out their welcome. Their debut disc was a really incredible beginning for the band..."
- Each Note Secure


Formed around the smart, moody story-songs of frontman Dan Mecher, The Turnbull ACs are one of the top new bands in Cincinnati. The Turnbulls' sound is sublime, guitar-based Pop music stripped of Pop's more annoying characteristics (expected melodies, shallow, meaningless lyrics). Make Elvis Costello 20something again, team him with Phantom Planet, sprinkle in some Strokes-ian scruff and rootsy, Bright Eyes-like rollicking and you'll have a genetic-engineering nightmare but a damn fine Rock & Roll record, just like The Turnbulls' recently-released, self-titled debut.

-June 21, 2006 - City Beat Magazine


by Mike Taylor, WOXY.com

The Turnbull AC's The Turnbull AC's (self-released) - Promising debut from Cincinnati quartet who formed just a year ago. A fine blend of Midwestern indie rock with a dash of Americana, do I also detect shades of Greg Dulli in frontman Dan Mecher’s vocals? The band is just one of the worthy locals making the 513 proud at the Desdemona Festival next month.

- May 16, 2006
- WOXY.com


Interview By Hannah Roberts

The basement of any house, from pre-fab to pre-Civil War, is an anomaly, incongruous, not in shape, but in ambience to the rest of the structure. You can hear the comfortable din of chatter; you can even see a thin, amber rectangle of light pouring down the steps from the warm kitchen. Nothing to get creeped about. I mean, it's just a room, after all. But suddenly and incomprehensibly, your pace quickens and you're racing as the hairs on your arms stretch skyward, for safety.

The young man sitting across from me spends a lot of time in that proverbial basement. Defying instinct, he hangs around and pokes his fears like a dying animal until they abandon the secrets that he'll reap and craft into fantastically eerie Pop songs.

"It was actually a doublewide trailer in Harrison," frontman Dan Mecher explains of his workspace. His eyes are bright and disarmingly giddy as he and his squad (local Indie rockers, the Turnbull ACs) prep for the night's set. They've just wrapped a self-titled, 11-song disc stuffed to the brim with the shadowy fruits of Mecher's imagination, everything from vampires and lethal love interests to mental hospitals and near-death experiences. He says that part of the inspiration for Elvis Costello-esque gems like "Red in the Fountain," came from living in his now-deceased grandparents' residence.

"My friends made fun of me for living (there)," says Mecher. "But the seclusion gave me plenty of time to write ... there was a creepy feeling to it all -- sleeping in my grandparents' old room."

The virgin release is stunning in this regard: It's an everyman narration of suburban-macabre set to sing-able melodies and subconsciously focus-tilting riffs. At a recent show, as Mecher growls in the foreground of an intensely hammering crescendo ("Teenage death, film at eleven/Pretty girls don't go to heaven/So, tell me where they go/When you hear the casket close"), a fan turns to me and says, "How has no one come up with that before?" And that's just it -- no wheels are reinvented in Mecher's songs. The progressions, arrangements and storytelling are fairly simple, obvious even. But if this is art that briefly summons the "I could've done that" adage, then the Turnbulls' passionate delivery is their over-crossed arms, noting, "But you didn't. And we did, so there."

Turnbull's drummer, Matt Retherford says, "From the minute I was a part of this, I wanted to know all the words; I wanted to scream them in my car so I didn't lose any of the feelings. I feel like I got called up to the big leagues (for this project), like I'd been in the minors for so long."

"Well, quit your other bands, then!" Mecher laughingly interjects, followed by a volley of "Slave-driver!" and "Control freak!" from the table. There's some truth to those genial accusations, Mecher admits.

"I was pretty apprehensive going into the studio," he says. "I had gotten so used to the way the home recordings sounded and I was afraid, with the other players and a bunch of expensive equipment, that we'd lose that raw, amateur quality."

"We actually decided that it would be better to leave some mistakes on the record, which was pretty hard because nobody wants to be the guy whose flub stays in," says bassist Chris Rebholz of the album (the group is rounded out by guitarist Mark Diedrichs and keyboardist Alex Bayer).

Capturing fantastic live performance on a recorded disc is often nearly impossible, but in this case, if a marginal loss of spontaneity is the downside, then the add-ins are the upside. What better way to complement phantasmagoric storytelling than with studio tweakage that channels creaking doors in guitar chords and bottom-of-the-well vocal stylings? One way or another, this band will get you.

Their overall attitude lies strikingly between dogmatic and whimsical. They are old enough to have accepted their shortcomings, but still young enough to indulge fame-and-fortune daydreams, which are not entirely inconceivable prospects. In one year, the Turnbull AC's have received high marks from Cincinnati's music community. Hence the reason for such an epic CD release party concept: The band will deliver its finished product over three different nights, at three of the city's most important venues. Encouraged by a friend, Mecher booked a show at the storied Ludlow Garage in Clifton, which, before its closing in 1971, was a regular spot to see national acts play.

"I think my parents may have even hung out there," says Mecher of the Garage. "It's interesting that a few decades ago, groups like The Allman Brothers, Neil Young and The Stooges were playing where the mall now stands. It's a good feeling to become a part of the venue's amazingly cool history."

Playing two additional nights at the celebrated Southgate House in Newport and alchemize in Over-the-Rhine, the Turnbull AC's hope to "involve both sides of the river" in an effort to give back some of the overwhelming sense of inclusion they've received. They wanted to cultivate that relationship and soon carry it into regional touring, as well.

Their individual goals differ (for example, Chris Rebholz is clearest on one thing: "I just don't want to ever be compared to Journey"), but while they sort that out, they are content to be listening to and making music that they truly love ... to death.

- May 3, 2006
- City Beat Magazine


Discography

Debut Album: The Turnbull AC's
Released: May, 2006
Notes: Named in "Best of 2006" album countdown on WOXY.com, "The Future of Rock and Roll." WOXY.com featured several tracks from the album throughout the year, all of which reached the station's top 20 most-played list.

"Small Town Parade" CD, released November 2008.

Other Airplay:
-WAQZ FM
-WWSU FM
-WAIF FM
-WEBN FM
-ISeeSound Podcast

Photos

Bio

Recognized as one of Cincinnati's premiere singer/songwriters, Dan Mecher started his Turnbull AC's as a creative outlet following the death of his grandparents. He began crafting his songs during a six-month solitude living in their double-wide trailer on the west side of Cincinnati. The songs are haunting stories brought to life by Mecher's graceful and melodic compositions—eerie reminders of the misfortunes life can present.

After months of playing solo acoustic sets, Mecher gathered some of Cincinnati's finest musicians to help him convey his message. The band dove right into the local and regional music scene during the second half of 2005, and played out several times a week with local favorites such as the Heartless Bastards, 500 Miles to Memphis, Moth, and The Sundresses. At the end of the year The Turnbull AC's were recognized by Cincinnati’s CityBeat Entertainment Awards—receiving a nomination for "Best New Artist of the Year”. Mecher also received a nomination for "Singer/Songwriter of the Year" Award.

As 2006 rolled in, The Turnbull AC's saw the impact of their first year in existence. The band took advantage of their growing local popularity and self-released their debut full-length album. As people filled their shows, press reviews gave nothing but positive feedback, and the regional airwaves began spreading the word of Mecher's lyrical masterpieces. The band’s hard work during 2006 earned them CEA nominations for "Artist of the Year", "Best Rock Album", "Album of the Year", and once again Mecher was nominated for "Singer/Songwriter of the Year".

The Turnbull AC's are currently touring the Midwest, promoting their debut album and receiving airplay from a growing number of radio stations across the country. The band recently finished recording their sophomore full-length album and their goal is to find a label that will help distribute their music. The Turnbull AC’s are committed to touring regionally and nationally—spreading the word of their great city’s music scene in an effort to make Cincinnati a permanent spot on the music map.

The Turnbull AC's have played festivals and shows with:

-The Walkmen
-Apples in Stereo
-The French Kicks
-Phoenix
-The Fiery Furnaces
-Margot and the Nuclear So and So's
-The Heartless Bastards
-Enon
-Mates of State
-The Apparitions
-The Sundresses
-The Stills
-Ghostface Killah
-Stellastar
-Forget Cassettes
-Voxtrot
-Sunday Runners
-Starlight Mints
-Kevin Devine
-The Features
-Okkervil River
-Manchester Orchestra
-Carolina Liar
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Contact The Turnbull AC's

Band:
www.theturnbullacs.com
www.myspace.com/turnbullacs

General Inquiries:
bandinfo@theturnbullacs.com
booking@theturnbullacs.com

Booking:
booking@theturnbullacs.com

Management:
Brian Penick
queencityrock@yahoo.com