Y'know what I find so endlessly endearing and intriguing about Connecticut's own Turkey Vulture? Despite a lack of released tunes in the grand scheme--indeed, the tracks herein account for, like, half of their discography--this duo consistently brings startlingly fresh ideas. Every track to their name is a new take, an exciting conglomerate of seemingly non-adjacent influences.
In other words: if invention is a product, Turkey Vulture produce it with an admirable fervor. Mixing olde-timey Americana with aggressively studded punk, morose grunge, and sludgey hard rock shouldn't, frankly, work as well as they make it. We’ve reviewed both their debut EP and a followup single, so if three reviews ain’t good enough reason to check ‘em out, I’m not sure how to help ye out of your particular predicament.
Intro aside: let's get to tunes, shall we? We're honored to present here today--in full!--a premiere of Time To Pay, Turkey Vulture's latest (and greatest) EP. That's right. Four banging tracks, fresh off the press. Eat ‘em up while they’re still hot. It's damn good, but don't just take my word for it!
If the menacing cover art isn’t indication enough, things get a lil’ rowdy on this latest effort. For example: things kick off with the surprisingly hard-hitting “Lost at Sea,” which might just be the most death ‘n’ roll-esque sea shanty e’er to grace these humble halls. It starts with mournful strings, but immediately roars into a fist-flinging diatribe. But the aggression doesn’t stop there--indeed, the Dark Crystal-inspired “Age of Resistance” is a skin-flaying affair, albeit well-balanced with a lighter back half. Jessie May and Jim Clegg have a good understanding of fun composition, and this serves as a prime example of their ability to weave chunky riffs with bouncy choruses and somber undertones. It’s a great track--possibly my favorite thusfar from Turkey Vulture.
“Daddy’s Roving Eye,” in comparison to the bombastic last, feels like classic Americana slammed into the grit and grime of a backwoods biker bar. It’s grungy and folky, but with a tangible and unmistakable heft. And lastly, “Old Nick” closes things out with a tastefully earwormy tribute to bluesman Robert Johnson. The central motif here is jaunty and light-footed in a manner that contrasts nicely with Turkey Vulture’s increasingly trademark thunderous drums, thick bass, and delightful bouts of harsh vocal delivery.
There are, obviously, a lot of inspirations and influences at play--a characteristic that, I will reiterate, is Turkey Vulture’s greatest strength. Everything they touch balances fun with fury, bombastic delivery with even-keeled restraint. In our review of their cover of “In the Pines,” I wrote that I “enjoy bands that are excited and willing to breathe a little life and aggression into songs that inform, in some small way, our cultural consciousness. Such bands are few and far between in the universe of heavy music, and for this reason, Turkey Vulture are a welcome anomaly.” In light of the release before ye, this statement feels even more tangible and truthful. Check out Time To Pay above, and, if it sparks some joy, encourage it to find a comfortable corner of your bandcamp collection this Friday. Bands like this are undeniably worth investing in.
Turkey Vulture - Time To Pay will be released July 29th, 2020
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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