If you’ve had the good sense or luck to witness Turbonegro in the live setting, you’ll most likely agree that there’s no spectacle quite like that of Hank Von Helvete and his motley crew in action. They’ve made some pretty spectacular records, too, so hats off to those folks at Cooking Vinyl for re-releasing the band’s entire 90s back catalogue.
1996’s’Ass Cobra‘ (the band’s third album) may have arrived after seemingly no end of line-up changes and various other troubles, but it showed that the band were truly beginning to hit their stride. Essentially a punk rock record at heart, the likes of ‘Sailor Man‘, ‘Denim Demon‘ and – of course- ‘I Got Erection‘ remain live favourites to this day, all resplendent with fuzzed-up guitars and brilliantly dark humour. The sleeve’s parody of the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds‘ is just the icing on a very hard-rocking cake.
Two years later, the band released their magnum opus, ‘Apocalypse Dudes‘. Described by Jello Biafra as “possibly the most important European record ever”, it marked an evolution of the band’s sound into a slicker but no less hard-hitting cocktail of glam, metal and 70s punk rock, which they termed ‘deathpunk’. More confident and diverse than ever before, songs like ‘Selffestructo Bust‘ and ‘Prince Of The Rodeo‘ see the band truly stamping their own warped identity onto proceedings, and the result remains their finest album to date.
If you’re not yet familiar with Norway’s finest musical export, then these two records are the ideal starting point. But first, check out them links above.