“You Kill Me” by The Turnback
In what amounts to an unmistakable throwback to alternative rock’s old school, the Turnback dish out a Foo Fighters-esque vocal harmony in “You Kill Me,” their latest single, that is retro and rhythmic but not so similar to past songcraft as to make the song dismissible by audiences as recycled goods. “You Kill Me” is all about its devilish melodies and sweeping pop hook, and among all of the tracks that I’ve heard this band record so far, it strikes me as being one of the more reserved in style. The grooves are as black and white as the music video for the song is, but they’re not easily forgettable by any means.
The guitar parts in this song redeem anything that the more saccharine points in the chorus take away from the fluidity of the track, and I think that the tonality of the riffing alone makes this a worthwhile listen for rockers in particular. This arrangement is confirmed conventional pop, but there’s not a lot of sparkle to the instrumental melodies here – quite the contrary, in fact. Beneath the high-polish serenade at the top of the mix is a grunge-influenced jam that could have been much more exciting were it allowed to spill out of the stereo with just a little more ease.
I wasn’t entirely sure what my overall take would be on “You Kill Me” until I saw the video for the song, which is absolutely a solidly stimulating hit. The narrative is theatrical and tied into the novella series Murder In Montague Falls, but it isn’t so distracting that we lose sight of what really matters the most (the music itself). My only complaint would be that it could strike some viewers as being a little grizzly, but for my taste, its ghoulishness isn’t a problem at all.
My gut tells me that, even amidst its most vibrant moments in this rehearsed rendition, “You Kill Me” would probably sound a lot better in a live capacity, where The Turnback could manipulate into a freeform juggernaut unbound by any of the limitations created in this setting. This band has a strong jam energy to their sound, and until I’ve seen them on stage for myself, I can’t help but wonder how much of their depth is getting filtered out of the mix in these studio recordings. They’ve got the brawn to make much heavier music than they already are, and I’d love to hear them experiment with their style more in-person.
“You Kill Me” isn’t the first batch of decent melodies that The Turnback have released in the last two years, but it’s still among the more noteworthy indie tracks that I’ve encountered in the last few months. Listeners, and specifically the band’s followers, will have to decide for themselves how much justice it does for their sound, but if it’s a sample offering of what’s to come next for this group in the near future, I’m confident that they’re going to continue to gain momentum in certain circles as 2019 turns to 2020. I’ll be following their story, and I’d recommend that you do the same.