I’m going to try to leave as much fluff about how this album revitalized the punk scene in the middle-late 10’s; enough music publishers have gotten that point across. But it’s almost going to be ten years since Peripheral Vision was released, and with fall-winter around the corner, it seems the most fitting to explain just why Peripheral Vision, a punk album from 2015, should be highly regarded for the season.
I wouldn’t be the first to attest to this album’s value on a personal scale, considering it came out during a period in my life that was tumultuously anxiety driven. The soundscape 2015 presented was one delighted in a re-energized sense of nuance and experimentation. All things from Travis Scott’s Rodeo, Tame Impala’s Currents, Beach House’s Depression Cherry, and even Bring Me The Horizon’s That’s The Spirit laid the groundwork for tonal re-imaginings that mainstream and underground acts took advantage of.
The stage was set for contemporary genres to switch things up during the 10’s. In came Turnover’s sophomore album, Peripheral Vision. This dream-rock release sensationalized the hunger for softer qualities in a mostly distortive enclave. This album draws distinctions between bittersweet heartache and stress, ringing on love deprivation that you may even get from the coldest novellas. It’s these themes, plus the hums of Austin Gaetz’ vocals, that drive Peripheral Vision to a cold and cathartic corner of a year where you can’t help but pick it back up for old time’s sake, over a hot cup o’ joe in a pair of loafers—or Ugg’s, however you role. Turnover did a complete, well, turnover, losing their punk roots and playing to the sonics of dream-o and shoe-gaze with this release. Peripheral Vision is like an album that pays homage to The Cure’s riffy synthesis but pushes on the progressive tastes of Beach House and Slowdive, while still keeping true to their likeness with groups like Titlefight or Seahaven. Peripheral Vision is the definition of emo sunshine, and I could go on, but I’d rather let the songs do the talking.
“Cutting my fingers off” – Everything that happens in this opening song is the synthesis of Peripheral Vision. The performative lyrics and guitars give an un-campy affection, illustrating the band’s musical circumference contrast to their distortive roots. It’s a turbulent cross cut between dialectic lyricism and soft progression-core, which rightfully, embedded itself within the greatest indie hits of the 10’s. Notice the rash but soft whirling chimes introducing the opening verses, this ambience is dredged across the LP like a warm blanket, and when you’d least expect it to come back, it does so to frame you back into the chill-like qualities that this album provokes.
“New Scream” – This song’s simple riffs and soothing bass drums, shoot an unforgettable and catchy beam of euphoria into the blood streams. Austin Gaet’z vocal key, and the cold-glossy instrumentals give this track the return-factor Peripheral Vision deserves. “Can I stay at home? / I don’t wanna go / I don’t wanna wake up till the sun is hanging low,” are just the passages that suit this kind of ring. Notice the keen icicle strums of the guitar, and the bellowing bass-guitar following the percussive vignettes: It’s a retro make-over wrapped in a cold, shivering beat that tunes at a wet, rainy window backdrop.
“Humming” – This is the mark that broadened Turnover’s recognition factor. It’s not as simple as “New Scream”, but it plays along blissful, flower watering melodies that invigorate that cornered sense of dimly lit sunshine that Peripheral Vision encompasses. The repeated solo before the second verse dives into that rollerblade, indie-rich vibe from a 90’s movie set in Venice Beach. The guitars on this track illustrate that orange sunset tone; the one that rings in your mind when thinking of holding hands with your partner. “Oh Just take me where you go / When it gets dark / Without you I won’t make it out / I don’t think I’ll make it out alive”. This playful take on romance can disrupt the album’s process, but Turnover didn’t set out to be a somber group, and their lyrical keys promote the multitude of dimensions that the album holds.
“Hello Euphoria” – Indeed. “Thinner at the waistline / I feel thinner at the waistline / I’m getting old in the face / Every day there’s another new line.” This song takes all the heavy weight from an insecure conscience and bashes it against a brick wall to never look back. The choruses illustrate Turnover’s demeanor to shine among a dream-scope you can’t get anywhere else. “I’m just so far / I feel so far away / You call my name / And it pulls me in.” I tear up inside when those words strike. This song may come off as bombastic, but don’t let its sounds disillusion you, it could be a tease for what’s to come from the album’s never-ending dream-o plethora. You just have to listen hard at the prose, and chuckle at those disorienting vignettes.
“Dizzy on the Comedown” – If there was ever a punk band that could fit as a wedding band, it’s Turnover. This hits with the same weight Cutting My Fingers does, its best parts are the rhythms and textures the instrumentations provide. “And you asked me / How do you feel? / When you’re away?” and “Sing along to a song that I know / It goes bah bah bada, sing it over and over” are part of the album’s spirit. This song synthesizes the album’s romantic cavity, its poignant appeal, and its thoughtful engagement between rhythm and melody. It utilizes core-sensual shoe-gaze strips and supporting keys that just make you want to propose to your loved one on the spot. It’s the ultimate beanie weather accompanier.
“Diazepam” – This song draws from the impressions of “Dizzy on the Comedown,” but misses the former’s amplified anima. This song conveys universal paramour-type truths that men and women feel when their relationship is on a tightrope. “Your father doesn’t like me ‘cuz I’m not into sports / And your mother won’t approve me ‘cuz I’m not in lacrosse.” “Diazepam” is the album’s soberest note, twinkling at the fine edges between complete fallout and enchanting fairy-tale commissions. The instrumentals hang back to let Gaetz’ perplexed keys shine through, but simultaneously play to the tonality of surfer-like distortion. “I don’t know if I’ll be there for you”, are Gaetz and the band relishing the dim future that a relationship has accosted. This song’s cold, bleak melodies are why the album flourishes at a time like November.
“Like Slow Disappearing” – This song escalates the surfer-like guitar qualities that Diazepam glossed over. This soft played tune is a moment to sit and reminisce about what’s been revealed; it’s a perfect score to the midpoint of the album to let your ears comprehend its unique phases. The synths and guitars radiate through the solo after the first chorus, inviting the listener to the sunset car-ride state of being. Arguably, “Like Slow Disappearing” is that dense contrast to the album’s animation, but Turnover’s addition is a testament to how broad their new soundscape had gotten up until then.
“Take My Head” – “Cut my brain into hemispheres / I wanna smash my face till it’s nothing but ears / Take my head this is what I want.” This song is an exclusionary tale of performative rock and soul, letting the band riff into compulsive desires and imagination. “Take My Head” plays to the indie-sonic tune, embellishing that brick wall coffeehouse vibe that you ache for on a work-shy weekend. This song’s rowdiness is palpable, and oddly enough adds a new meaning to the wash-core movement that albums from this time familiarized. Like “Like Slow Disappearing”, “Take My Head” is also a bent nail in the woodwork, but the production and songwriting qualities encourage listeners to welcome these turbulent vignettes, succeeding the purposeful categorization of Peripheral Vision’s cold, bittersweet, and cathartic approach: The hallmark ingredients for those spontaneous coffee table hangouts that project through the chilled seasons.
“Threshold” – A warm, tonic enhanced drum that rolls with spacious guitar tones. It’s an interlude symphony, and if you listen closely, you’ll notice the familiar cold under current that’s accompanied the album from the start.
“I Would Hate You If I Could” – “Forget the days we’d waste in bed / Tangled / The smoke still on your breath / Undressed / And pinning you up to the wall.” After the album’s mid-point, Gaetz and the band uncover even more dream-o cornerstones, re-inviting listeners to its chilly affirmations. There’s a sincere moment after the second chorus, it’s that same melancholy, cold ambience that’s been across the album; and it lets the band into its pre-closure breakdown. Gaetz’ mind speaks out, and the percussion’s texture taints this moment, solidifying its dramatic poignancy. The bass line echoes past the closing verse, clinging onto the belly strum and vocals to welcome the song’s immaculate ending. “I Would Hate You If I Could” is Peripheral Vision’s statement, arguably. Its production illustrates how colorful the LP really is. Disregarding the conventionalities of an icy-cold sound, Peripheral’s contrast is a counter to the former dull or monochromatic expectations that may come with a purposeful “For Fall Album”.
“Intrapersonal” – This song’s structure secludes within its riffs but doesn’t stray from a tedious nuance that’s overly catchy. “There’s a fever burning up in me / I’m tangled up inside a sinking feeling / It’s all intrapersonal.” Notice Gaetz’ echoing howl at that last lyric, it sings through like at the end of a dense cavern; I think it’s metaphorical for how euphoric the whole album had been. There’re many levels to this song like its breakdown and pre-chorus, especially the tempo switch. It’s a magical conclusion, and a song that gratifies Turnover’s allegory to rigid-dream rock.
Peripheral Vision holds unforgettable amounts of nuance, and its reach across the indie diaspora is well carved. This album grabbed fans from different enclaves, pinning us all together to celebrate its monumental appeal. Its release in May of 2015 is non-colloquial to how it vibrates across seasons, expanding from summer to the falling leaves of autumn. No doubt, it can ring brightly at any time of the year, but there are depressive conditions that only Peripheral Vision capitalizes during those airy, quiet fall-winter gestures sprinkled through one’s year. This album is immensely romantic, and its mournfulness is cataclysmic to how it’s perceived by fans. Turnover has three total releases since, but undoubtedly, they’ve left the tastes that Peripheral Vision conveyed in 2015. Here’s to the album and hoping that the fall season lovers can let it grace their warm, fuzzy textured sweater days with harmonic euphoria.