Monday, April 14, 2008

Turning Point - Demo 1988

The first time I had heard of Turning Point was through an interview that I had read with them in the Fall of 1988. The fanzine was called Artificial Insanity and was done by this guy Emil who lived in Blackwood, New Jersey. Emil was a very cool and friendly guy who I would write to, trade zines with and also do a little tape trading. One notable tape I distinctly remember getting from Emil was a copy of the Project X 7" and the Antidote 7". At the age of 13, both of those records were virtually impossible to find, at least for me at that time. I owed Emil a ton of thanks for hooking me up with what would become two of my favorite 7"s ever. One recording Emil did not give me, but highly recommended I order was the Turning Point demo. Considering the fact that this guy had not steered me wrong yet, I knew I had to follow his suggestion. Not too long after this discussion with Emil, I had received a copy of Open Your Eyes issue 3 in the mail. What an incredible zine, still one of my favorites. In that third issue of Open Your Eyes was a very cool ad for the Turning Point demo. With the combination of the interview in Artificial Insanity, the recommendation of Emil and the killer ad in Open Your Eyes, I was sold and quickly packed my $4.00 into an envelope and sent it off to 8 Crider Ave.

When that Turning Point demo arrived in my mailbox, I was stoked to say the least. I remember tearing the demo out of its padded envelope and staring in awe at the simple but awesome cover art. Two faceless, X'ed up straight edge dudes chilling over the words "Turning Point," so classic. What got even better was when I popped the cassette into my tape player and heard the song "To Lose" kick it off. Up until then it was just word of mouth, visual images and the rumors that Turning Point sounded like Youth Of Today junior, finally I could judge for myself. Right off the bat I could tell that the recording was better than the majority of demos I recalled hearing at that point. The music was hard and clean and when Skip's vocals came in, I was blown away. Loud, in your face, pissed, yet completely clear, this was straight edge hardcore at its finest. At one point I recall thinking to myself, "Well yeah, it does sound a bit like Youth Of Today," as did a million bands at that time, "But this easily stands above all the imitators." I went on to listen to this demo over and over and over again. I studied and remembered the lyrics word for word. The song "Never Again" was my personal favorite. There was something about those lyrics, "You fuck with our friends at all the shows, we're gonna take you down and all our hate will flow"... that struck a nerve. It was just so pissed and fed up, I loved it.

Still to this day, 20 years later, the Turning Point demo remains as my favorite hardcore demo ever. Not only is it my favorite hardcore demo (up there with Pushed Aside, Beyond and Raw Deal) but it's actually my favorite Turning Point recording as well. Maybe it's the memories I have of first getting this demo, maybe it's the raw, honest, in your face tone they took, maybe it's the "Dragnet" sound clip. No matter what it is, it's fuckin' great and still gets me as psyched today as it did 20 years ago. -TM

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