Do you remember the band Denial? Sure you do, Denial was a Cincy act that started as a cover band and grew to a post punk act who had some labels chasing them around earlier this decade. (And who apparently recently re-formed) Dan Mecher was the frontman for Denial, but with changes in life, come changes in creativity, and that is what happened with Dan about five years ago. His songwriting was taking a new turn after the death of his grandparents, and it was that inspiration, along with some coaxing from some other musician friends here in Cincinnati, Mecher began a new project, which later became known as Turnbull AC’s, named for a gang in the 1979 movie “The Warriors.”
Dan enlisted the help of Mark Diedrichs (Guitars, Keys), Chris Rebholz (Bass) and Matt Retherford (Drums) to fill out the lineup and the band quickly became one of the best live acts in 2005. The local media approved as well, giving them a nod for “Best New Artist of the Yearâ€. Mecher also received a nomination for “Singer/Songwriter of the Year” Award. And while some hype leads to a letdown, when it came time for the band to release their debut album, expectations were not only met, but were exceeded.
After all, the record showcases Mechers blooming songwriting ability that makes one think of a young Elvis Costello. And Dan’s post-punk experience serves him when he needs it as well for a heart wrenching chorus or guitar rip. Songs like “Ghost Town Land”, “Disco Bomber” and the huge sound of “Pretty Girls Don’t Go To Heaven” had an immediate impact both live and on record for Turnbull, making people forget their expectations, and just ask for more material. The band rolled the album out in a unique way as well, by playing a full weekend of performances in Cincinnati, including a show at the historic Ludlow Garage, which had not hosted a live show in nearly 30 years.
After those shows and a years worth of touring and promoting the album, the guys returned to the welcoming arms of Cincinnati in 2006 to accept CEA nominations for “Artist of the Year”, “Best Rock Album”, “Album of the Year”, and once again Mecher was nominated for “Singer/Songwriter of the Year”. All nods that were well deserving for one of the hardest working bands in Cincinnati.
While the path of the band might not have led where they dreamed it would, the guys released another excellent album in 2008 and continue to be a consistent draw whenever they play live here in Cincinnati. The debut album though stands apart for me, and to this day is one of my favorite Cincinnati albums of the decade.