Peripheral Vision, by Turnover
Suggested by Todd Beckett
Peripheral Vision is a pleasant album. It has pleasant guitars, and pleasant vocals. The drums are pleasant, and the bass guitar is every bit as pleasant as the rest. The songs are best described as pleasant, and the band themselves look like pleasant chaps.
Turnover’s frontman, Austin Getz, has a high (pleasant) voice that’s atypical of the emo American College Rock sound. The (pleasant) songs he’s singing are (pleasantly) well-crafted, but they’re unlikely to set your speakers on fire in either subject or song structure. The band has a feel of Weezer to it, without Weezer’s sense of whimsy and fun. It’s a dream-like sound, an indie rock standard that’s atmospheric and summery but also sleepy and unassuming.
My favourite song on the album is Take My Head, which I felt offered something a little different to the sound that preceded it. Cutting My Fingers Off is likely the most dynamic, but that writes a few cheques that the rest of the album fails to cash.
There’s a dearth of passion to Peripheral Vision. No spark, no fire. It’s hard to be roused into action when the call to arms is so middle of the road. Maybe it’s the fault of the tired and trite emo lyrics, because no one likes a whining war-cry. Or maybe it’s because of the almost ethereal dream-like production, with the genre’s overdone vocal echo accompanying the bright yet burnished guitar. Whatever it was, it felt safe and cozy, but it also felt like a recommendation from a wet-sponge older uncle who thinks he’s down with the kids. I can picture David Cameron telling us he listens to Turnover, on the advice of his PR team. It’s the Indie Rock version of Phil Collins.
That said, I didn’t dislike this album. It was, well, pleasant. I just like my music with a little more edge, and this was practically spherical. The album was seen as a departure from Turnover’s more pop punk style on previous works, and that’s likely to its detriment to these cynical ears.
I give Peripheral Vision a pleasantly mediocre 5/10. Like anything that twitches on the edge of your sight, it’ll soon be gone and forgotten.