Almost fifteen years have passed since Turbonegro released ‘Apocalypse Dudes’, a record dubbed by none other than Jello Biafra as “possibly the most important European record ever.” High praise, indeed – and it is an awesome record. Equally impressive, though, is the fact that the Norwegian death-punks are still around, with their long history of drug addictions and personnel changes hopefully behind them.
The departure of long-standing frontman Hank Von Helvete could well have been the final straw for the band, but ‘Sexual Harrassment’ is as superb a comeback as the Turbojugend faithful could hope for. New vocalist Tony Sylvester’s gravel-throated roar lends a raw edge to the frenetic punk rock attack of ‘I Got A Knife’ and ‘Hello Darkness’, whilst the wonderfully-titled ‘Shake Your Shit Machine’ is as fine a slice of bar-room boogie as they’ve ever produced. Musically, there are no great departures from the Turbonegro of old, but the quality of the songs here is undeniable – with the call-and-response chorus of ‘TNA (The Nihilistic Army)’ sure to go down a storm live, and the bizarre spoken-word outro of ‘Dude Without A Face’ proving that these old dogs can still throw a curve ball or two.
No, it’s not quite ‘Apocalypse Dudes’, but this is arguably Turbonegro’s finest and most adrenalized record in a decade. They’ll be playing the Lock-Up stage at this year’s Reading/Leeds festivals, before returning in November for the following dates:
Thu 22nd – London Electric Ballroom
Fri 23rd – Manchester Academy 2
Sat 24th – Glasgow King Tuts