Monday, February 16, 2009

Poll results for favorite Turning Point recording

These poll results never cease to amaze me. Going into this, I had no clue whatsoever that the Turning Point / No Escape split would take the crown. Of course the "It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn" LP came in at a close second, but still, to think that a two song split EP with the band's most unconventional material would win was a complete surprise to me.

My pick was the demo, it's always been my favorite Turning Point release since the day I got it. I'm not going to get into my feelings on this demo again since I did do an entire entry on it last year on here at some point, but I will once again note that it's my favorite demo ever. Flawless straight edge hardcore done to perfection. Doesn't hurt that they came from New Jersey, but that by no means sways my opinion in any drastic direction.

As for the Turning Point / No Escape split EP, when I first heard it, I have to admit that I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Gone was that Youth Of Today junior sound that I knew and loved and in came a much more melodic, heavily D.C. inspired sound. I will say, the transition between the "It's Always Darkest..." LP and the song "Broken" from the Rebuilding comp definitely gave me a taste of what was to come with the split material, so I shouldn't have been all that surprised. Also, I can distinctly remember hearing Turning Point play "Thursday" live prior to it being released...but still, hearing it recorded for the first time was a whole new thing.

I don't remember exactly when the split EP was released, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't until the band actually broke up. The reason I say that is because I seem to recall being excited to hear Turning Point play "Behind This Wall" and "Thursday" at their 1994 reunion. In those years after the release of the split, those two songs fully grew on me and although they sounded nothing like the band I was introduced to in 1988, I couldn't deny their greatness. Thanks to Jade Tree, I never have to choose which Turning Point release to listen'll be the complete discography every time. -Tim DCXX

I don't have much to add beyond what Tim just wrote, but I did want to comment on one thing here that I don't see discussed much, and that's the fact that out of Turning Point's seven recording sessions, I'm not sure they ever got a bad recording. Pretty much every actual recording sound (I don't mean the band's style/sound) is distinct from the rest, seems to fit the music perfectly, and can still be considered at the very least, a decent recording...and for some records, a perfect recording.

The demo is rough and demo quality, but there is something blistering and raw about it that just seems perfect for a demo of pissed SEHC. The seven inch may in fact be perfect, everything on it is just in your face and crushes...I'm not an engineer or an audiophile, but if I did a recording of hard, pissed of straight edge tunes, I would hand the TP 7" to the dude at the controls. The recording of "Insecurity" to me sounds like a cleaner and beefier version of that seven inch recording, maybe with a little bit more time tweaking some levels and playing with some effects (as well as some better musicianship)...and I think it kills. When Skip yells out "THE PAAAAAINNN!!!" over one of the best transition-into-mosh parts ever written I wanna bash my elbows over someone's head.

I'm already getting carried away here, but even though I don't dig the Words To Live by comp song or the LP recording qualities, I'm not sure you could say these are bad. And the later material really does capture that whole DC/Jane's thing they were going for really well.

These dudes could play their instruments. Vince Spina from Edgewise was recently telling me and Tim that his drum teacher was Jay from TP's drum teacher, and this drum teacher told Vince that Jay was one of the most talented drummers he had ever known (and I'm guessing Jay was maybe 18 years old?). For those unaware, Jay played guitar in TP (and he could play) and on the drums was Ken, who in his own right was/is a GREAT drummer. So yeah, these guys were not short on talent by any means. One of the best...

-Gordo DCXX

"Behind This Wall" and "Thursday" from Turning Point / No Escape Split: 109
"It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn" LP: 101
7": 75
Demo: 49
"Broken" from Rebuilding comp: 44
"Insecurity" from Forever comp: 24
"My Turn To Win" from Words To live By comp: 5

Nick with Turning Point at City Gardens, 1990.


Ben Edge said...

"Behind This Wall" is my favorite all-time track by any band, any genre. And I listen to A LOT of music. I always wonder if they would be as highly regarded as Gorilla Biscuits, if they had done another LP of the more melodic material.

Anonymous said...

The LP is tops for me, but it's all good.

STR8TAIT said...

I love everything TP every did. From their raw beginnings of the demo, to their emotional finale. Every recording showed a progression a maturation if you will. Two things in this world I could talk about for days, Turning Point and The Philadelphia Eagles. Did not expect the split or the LP to be in the top two

s.wade said...

the demo? i mean, it's good for what it is... but the reality is that the demo is really just guys from new jersey emulating what they were hearing out of new york. there's nothing original or ground breaking about it at all.

the no escape split (off the record, how many of these things were sold and never shipped by chuck temperance? tons.) is a combination of all of the power of hardcore coupled with great lyrics and songwriting.

i remain convinced that if turning point had done another lp after the split it would be one of the best hardcore records ever. oh well.

i skipped the 1994 'burning joint' reunion. but the split songs are the ones i really would have wanted to see.

Anonymous said...

I expected for the 7" to win, but hey, what can you do.

for those interested in owning the original of this split, we still have a handful available in our store


Anonymous said...

i think you are exactly right in saying the demo is just guys from NJ emulating what they were hearing from NY...but it's the fact that they did it SO well. plenty of bands were doing that back then, but VERY few, maybe one out of every 25 was pulling it off well. that TP demo, man, it's just so well done. do you realize how hard it actually is to try to play that style and do it legitmately well? everyone knocks that type of sound...but try getting together with people and saying "let's write fast traditional style HC that sounds like YOT." i guarentee that nine times out of ten, you end up with a really bad sounding parody band. TP played really fast, really tight, and really pissed, and for a relatively straight forward SEHC demo, it has a lot of different riffs, mosh parts, and structure variety for a simple introductory 1988 demo. the fact that it isn't super original or groundbreaking creatively, and that it's done by NJ kids EMULATING actually just seems to solidify how good it is outsiders borrowing heavily and yet it still just blows the doors off maybe any other band at the time that was trying to be YOT. if that demo came out in 1988 and it said the line up was members of YOT/GB/JUDGE, well, I would have believed it.


Some interesting comments here.

First off, Ben... I agree, had Turning Point stuck it out after the split and recorded another LP, they could have easily been as highly regarded as GB. I think about that all the time.

Str8 Tait... I'm with you man, TP and the Eagles. On and on.

#1 TP Demo fan... Couldn't have said it better myself, you hit the nail squarely on the head.

Anonymous said...

I referred to this split as "the greatest split ever released in the history of mankind" when I wrote about it on my site last year, and I stand by that statement 100%. Both bands totally killed it on this thing, and these are Turning Point's best songs. Hands down. I love Turning Point, love the LP, etc. - but their later songs just demolish the early material for me. Totally incredible. I'm so psyched that this one won the poll, ha...

doesanybodyseewhatIsee?NOOOO! said...

Unfortunately they never recorded the songs Hollow Inside and other new songs they did in 1991 on WNYU Radio (check out their discography on Jade Tree) because these songs are awesome, some are melodic but others display more agressiveness and pace like their LP.

Anonymous said...

For me the 88 demo will always be their best stuff. It just rocks so hard, the production is perfect for it. Great songs, incredible drummer!

JD said...

The demo still makes me want to punch shit when I'm listening to it while driving.
Safe? No. Awesome? Yes. Everything after the demo just isn't the same to me.

Anonymous said...

I love TP, but when it comes to the split 7" I'm going with the No Escape side all the way. A truly underrated band.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed nobody here brings up SHADOW SEASON... both 7" and CDep
are amazing to this day... Jersey
kids emulating The Smiths rather
than YOT but equally cool.

Anonymous said...

Agree totally with AversionOnline that this is the best split hardcore 7" ever. Some others who were close: Release/Courage, Integrity/Mayday and of course Stand Up/On Life(ha ha!).
TP killed in all depts. on all recordings and remain unchallenged to this day. It's a shame they did not put out a 2nd album, could have changed hardcore as we know it today, seriously! The split of recent times though has to be the Trapped Under Ice/Dirty Money, god damn, that shit is seriously ill!!!
R.I.P. Skip!

Anonymous said...

The best TP recording for me actually was the scratch tracks used for the LP. The tracks were raw unmixed and aggressive like hardcore should sound--they should have just released those instead of the LP--I'm only sorry I dont possess those anymore--Later---------------Muscle-----------

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