Monday, December 31, 2012

The Turnback - Drawing With Chalk

"And if my life is drawn in chalk don't let it be erased"
This is something special
That line from 'Beyond Belief' the opening track on The Turnback's 'Drawing With Chalk' provides not only the title for the record but is also the inspiration behind leader Todd Giglio's independent film of the same  name.  While this is marketed as a soundtrack album for the film, the CD when viewed as a stand alone without its connection to the movie, represents one of the best power pop albums ever crafted.  From the opening chime of a Rickenbacker 12 string to the haunting final track 'Nowhere' the music takes you on a journey that flows from track to track and holds your attention from beginning to end.  That is quite an accomplishment and this may possibly be the only power pop album to ever achieve that as the genre is just not designed that way.  The music on 'Drawning With Chalk' has a 'Dark Side Of The Moon' type of flow and sequencing but with the understanding that this would be DSOTM with The Raspberries rather than Pink Floyd.

Today, in an iPod digital download world, music is purchased and heard as a single track as part of a playlist but here The Turnback have literally turned back the clock to a time when albums still mattered. Among the highlights are the pop psych "Cellophane Sky', the haunting 'Nowhere', personal favorite "One Day You'll Be Rich', along with 'Beyond Belief" but every track is something special.  In addition to Todd Giglio (vocals, guitar, keyboards) the Turnback are Kenny Sherman (vocals, guitar, bass) and Barry Nagel (drums, guitar, keyboard).  Could not recommend this any higher.  Simply one of the best records we have ever heard.

"Sometimes your life is drawn out for you."

We cannot overlook the film either as Todd Giglio's story, no doubt autobiographical, captures with amazing intensity and humanity how the real world can beat all of us down and that in pursuing our dreams there are no guarantees, many challenges, no small amount of pain and ultimately forced compromises.  His story is our story and with this low budget DIY independent film he has created a masterpiece.

Todd is a bit of a renaissance man and warrants most of the credit as the writer (along with Christopher Springer), star, director, producer, composer and the man behind every other significant role behind and in front of the camera.  He effectively uses friends and family to supplement the cast and leverages the natural beauty and underlying depression and isolation of the area surrounding his upstate New York home to great storytelling effect.  

This may be low budget but it is high quality film making and worth the effort to source a copy of the DVD.  As good as the CD is the movie is better and they are both better together.

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