Since reforming in 2002 (originally active between 1989 to 1998), Norway’s “deathpunk” icons have gained much media attention, I have certainly heard a lot about them, but until now, I was unaware of any of their material. That said, I have immediately been thrown into a relative comfort zone. Musically, there are comparisons to early 80’s UK/US punk, the relatively modern slant of punk that was made famous by Sweden’s Backyard Babies/The Helicopters and a bluesy reference to some of Hanoi Rocks and The Stooges material. Be it punk, glam, hard rock, Turbonegro combine forces and provide a suitable party soundtrack with the added bonus of new singer Tony Sylvester AKA Duke Of Nothing (from the UK band The Dukes of Nothing). Losing a long term singer is always a risk, maybe seasoned fans will have some opinion, but for me, Sylvester is doing what he does best and I am certainly not complaining about it! Longtime member Happy Tom (aka Thomas Seltzer) is also known for his side project band Scum whom recorded an album a few years back with members of Amen and Emperor, a more “scummy” style!
Their new single ‘You Give Me Worms’ brings together the blues and the aforementioned Stooges, rock and roll rhythm’s sooth any aching muscles and the general laid back approach gives a cool release at the end of the album. Previously, you will be battered by the higher octane flourishes such as ‘I Got A Knife’ and ‘TNA (The Nihilistic Army)’. Turbonegro may say that they believe in nothing, but they command their own believers and followers, i.e. their fans. Although the general feel of the release is buried within a few punk sub-genres, where this band differs is the ability to produce a laid back sense of melody I have previously touched upon. You won’t find major musical influence in this album, it’s very simple, but simple is the key; being so simple you have an effortless recording. With such an approach and a clear decipherable vocal delivery, you can take a hold of the lyrics, live and breathe them. After all, why write something that no one can understand?
Turbonegro’s fan base aka the “Turbojugend” (Turbo Youth) will be happy with this result and this may have the prospect to open further doors for this long standing band based on simplicity and the music’s ease of access.
(6/10 Paul Maddison)