Take Turns have a nifty line in song titles – ‘Finishers’ Medals’, ‘Once A Saltwater Lagoon’, ‘Rare Earths’ – that pay rightful homage to the skewed approach of their stated influences, Pavement. And indeed, if you’ve never heard Brighten The Corners, you might well think that Take Turns are indie manna from heaven. If you have, you can only congratulate them on having excellent taste and musical impersonation skills.
In truth, there’s nothing much wrong here apart from over-faithfulness to that particular sound. It’s well played, well produced, the tunes twist and turn in all the right directions and, in fact, they are at their best when they stick to the slacker rock template. ‘Waaaaasteland, my little wasteland’ hollers the lead singer, on the aforementioned Rare Earths, channelling pure Stephen Malkmus, before the song disappears into Pixies-like indie squall. They pull off another brilliantly fractious outro on the title track and you’re back in your bedroom air guitaring to Weezer’s Only In Dreams.
Where they deviate from type, it is in the vocals, which on half the tracks here take their lead from British music of the period. On ‘Finishers’ Medals’ you could be listening to Johnny Dean from Menswear, on Rare Earths it’s Ride’s Mark Gardener. Not that anyone needs reminding of Britpop, but it adds another dimension to the sound.
Take Turns are definitely in the right ballpark with what they’re doing. Give or take Blur’s late 90s efforts, it’s not musical territory that Brits often stray into. But they should stick their necks out more, and not stick so rigidly to the formula.