ALBUM REVIEWS


Turbonegro
RETOX
COOKING VINYL 9.7.07
@www.vanguard-online.co.uk


If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, there are a couple of things that you may have noticed about my approach to new albums: 1.) I always try my best not to judge the album by its cover, and 2.) I invariably do. I just can’t help it, I seem to build a prejudice against certain artists from 25 paces. Fortunately, there is a 3.) If I don’t think I’m going to like an album I’ll usually love it.

And that is very much the case with Turbonegro. A Norwegian rock group who begin their opening track with “Mr Oslo / How did you get so far?” Hmm…must’ve taken them ages to come up with that name. But the track, “We’re Gonna Drop The Atom Bomb” is brilliant. Now, I must contextualise this. I don’t mean it’s a musical masterpiece, although the dude on guitar obviously has some talent. No, it’s brilliant because, in Turbonegro, we have the Norwegian version of Spinal Tap.

Don’t believe me? Well check out some of the track names: “Hell Toupee” (clearly ripped off a Simpsons episode); “Stroke The Shaft” (which is up there with the ‘Taps’ “Big Bottom” and “Clam Caravan”); “I Wanna Come”, which tries to hide the toilet humour as much as I would try to turn down a frosty pint of beer on a sunny day; “Everybody Needs A Chubby Dude” and bonus track “Back In Denim”.

Need more evidence? The chorus of “Hell Toupee” glibly repeats ‘Hell Toupee / Can’t stand losing my hair this way’, while “Everybody Needs A Chubby Dude” contains the lines ‘Feed me, feed me / Coz everybody loves a chubby dude’ in a “Feed My Frankenstein” kindof way.

But squeezed between all of this silliness are some truly great tracks. “No, I’m Alpha Male” has that well-recognisable rock breakdown mid-verse and plenty of ‘whooo-ooo-oooas’ to keep anyone happy. The album’s first single “Do You Do You Dig Destruction” is cock-rock prime for strutting. Finally, bonus track “Back In Denim” is a stadium chant of “I’m back / back in denim / and denim put the soul in your rock & roll’. How can you argue with that?!

Is this an album to be taken seriously? No, not at all. But that’s a good thing. You can hear The Darkness knocking on the band’s dressing room door, and I’m sure Kiss would have a few words to say to them, but with sensibilities that are just so damn silly, I don’t think they’d be truly angry. As the band say on the last track proper ‘What is rock? / Rock is the area between the balls and the anus’.

www.turbonegro.com


Simon Middleyard