EP REVIEW: Turnpike Glow – Inflatable Optimism

EP REVIEW: Turnpike Glow – Inflatable Optimism EP

Trans-European synth pop which tackles subjects like the global financial meltdown. Now there’s a lead-line. Turnpike Glow are a five piece who began as a Pavement-inspired two-piece in Rome, a place more interested in slick mainstream pop than scrappy Malkmus pastiches. Then they moved to London, picked up a few more members on the way, and somehow found their way into tight, choppy guitars and vocals which are as controlled as they are affected.

There’s a melting pot of influences going on in “Inflatable Optimism”, not least of all the likes of Phoenix and Broken Social Scene whom the band themselves cite and who, in the case of the latter, were also produced by Dave Newfeld. It’s the rough-edged pop side to BSS that’s being channelled here and, we guess, Phoenix’s song titles inspiring the likes of “1986”, a fun little jaunt around the hallmarks of catchy indie: falsetto “la la la”s, call-and-response verses, stop-start rhythms and a refrain that will lodge itself in your brain like an errant Futureheads chorus. It’s not rocket science, it’s not even brain surgery. It’s music that knows what it’s doing and what it’s doing is fun.

Okay okay, you say, that’s the synth pop out of the way, what about the global financial meltdown? Well, you’re not our usual sort of reader, we say, but yeah, we’ll tell you. The fourth and final track on the EP, “The Turn, The Pike, and the Glow” is like The Rapture re-born, and with unabashed disco influences. We’re not sure where the credit crunch stuff comes into play, to be fair. Probably for the best it stays subtle, it could have harmed a perfectly danceable (dancing is important, especially in synth-pop) pop gem. Irresistibly perky fun.


Written for DIY, published 12/06/12


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