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A Conversation About American Rock Part 3: Has the Influence of Rock Died?

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

This blog post is part 3 of a conversation on the cultural influence of American rock. See part 1 & 2 at A Conversation About American Rock Part 1: Has The Influence of Rock Died? ( & A Conversation About American Rock Part 2: Has the Influence of Rock Died? ( Dane and Old Man suggest rock bands that readers should get to know.

Dane: The next band I’d like to introduce is the hardcore band Turnstile. Turnstile has already achieved a fair amount of commercial success and plenty of critical acclaim with their 2021 release "GLOW ON".

I want to introduce them today because of their potential to crossover into alternative and maybeeeeee even mainstream radio. Their hyper-aggressive, riff-heavy style is a little intense for big radio, but GLOW ON saw the band find their sound, write concise songs, and begin to introduce elements of pop (hand claps and synthesized drum sounds). I could see them signing to a major label in the future and becoming the next big thing!

Old Man: I had to look the band up and give them a listen. They have a solid following. I listened to GLOW ON and went back and listened to their 2013 album Step to Rhythm. The 2013 work was certainly much more straight-ahead hardcore punk. The evolution of the band is amazing. The driving guitars are still there, but songs like UNDERWATER BOI exhibit your point of commercial the band could be.

Old Man: Keeping with the hardcore theme, I’d like to share DIY hardcore alum Bartees Cox Jr., AKA Bartees Strange.

Strange is an alum of Brooklyn-based post-hardcore band Stay Inside, but has forged a path since that I think may be part of any rock revival in America. Strange has forged a musical style that incorporates elements of rock, hardcore, jazz, and R&B. He can rock on tunes like “Mustang,” about his Oklahoma roots, go rock/pop on “Heavy Heart,” and flip to hip hop on “Boomer.” But that’s an over-simplification. If you listen to each of these songs, they are constantly blending and shifting genres throughout each song. Strange has been getting a ton of publicity over the last two years and I expect he, like Turnstile, has a real shot of breaking through.

I know who my next band is. I have a hunch I know who your next band will be. I can’t wait to see if I’m right.

To be continued…


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