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Album Review

Turning Point are perhaps best remembered as the band that Lenola guitarist Jay Laughlin was in back in the day, but the extensive 38-track compilation 1988-1991 Discography shows that the southern New Jersey-based band was a largely overlooked component in the development from hardcore to the early days of emo. In opposition to the title, 1988-1991 Discography actually moves backwards from the band's last work to their early days, which gives the album a curious reverse-growth feeling: Turning Point were basically a standard-issue straight-edge hardcore band at the start, and moving backwards to the 78-second hardcore blurt of "Watching It Fall" from the comparatively mature and complex (musically and emotionally) "Behind This Wall" is like watching a flower revert to a seedling. Throughout their career, however, Turning Point had the secret weapon of singer Skip Candelori, one of the most compelling frontmen of his time; even on the earliest material here, Candelori has a voice that delivers more than the usual tuneless bark; even on fairly anonymous material like the double-time thrash of "The Few and the Proud," he's singing with greater wit and sharpness than the vast majority of hardcore screamers, not to mention he was actually perfectly capable of staying in tune. Emo fans of a historical bent should check this out immediately.

1988-1991, Turning Point
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