Every now and again I find myself taking things too seriously, especially when writing. I find that the keyboard will frequently bring out a fury that upon reading I start to think about how I really need to take a step off of mount pious, stop pontificating, and get over whatever it is I may be ranting about. This comes out even more when I write about music. I’ll read too much into things or I attach a grand significance to something miniscule. It’s been more and more lately. I’ll be the first to admit it. When writing this article I found myself falling into that slump. That was before I came home today.
Walking in the door after a long day of work, I threw on my yummies (my term for pajamas) and wandered about the house trying to think of a way to start this column off. I was stuck on worries of sounding smart, or people finding out that I am in fact a fraud when it comes to this whole writing gig. That was when I reached into my pocket and found an unwrapped half eaten Cliff Bar. Nothing like finding discarded food in a pair of pants you haven’t worn in weeks to bring you back down to reality. In that moment I realized, I am not a refined author. I am in fact still a care free shit bag. I’m the guy who couldn’t bring himself to walk to the garbage can and instead pocketed his half eaten breakfast and then forgot about it. That’s me at my core. I abandoned my concerns and desired strongly get back in touch with that version of myself and the music I listen to while in that state.
Despite recent softness in the AOTW column most of the stuff I listen to is pretty loud and aggressive. I did do a bit on N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, which will never be considered soft, but that album was over 20 years ago. I need to put you guys on some new shit so I can keep my street-cred with all the crazy kids out there. In order to do that I’m dipping into my well of awesome rock bands with really dumb names. I’ve already written on the radicalness that is Cheeseburger, so this week we turn to yet another group of dudes that didn’t give a fuck when they named their band. Why should they? What’s in a name really? You could come up with a killer band name and then never make a tune that anyone cares about. Why waste time on it? This week we take a listen to Turbo Fruits. Let’s get into it.
The group was formed in Nashville by the Be Your Own Pet guitarist Jonas Stein. There have been several members who have come and gone, but the current line up appears as:
Kingsley Brock – guitar, backing vocals
Dave McCowen – bass, backing vocals
Matt Hearn – drums
Last month Turbo Fruits released their third effort Butter. I’m digging it. Their blend of booze infused surf punk has been much needed after my weeks of indie rock induced depression. Or was it the depression induced the indie rock. That’s one of those “chicken before the egg” type questions I guess. Either way, the up-tempo jams were a great change of pace. The record opens with Where The Stars Don’t Shine. It’s a opus that captures the thoughts of any drunken man as Stein expresses where he’d like to be at the end of the night. The guitar riffs are surge forward as Stein’s distorted vocals howl along.
What I like most about these guys is the fact that though this is their biggest single to date, it didn’t stop them from continuing their trend of making low budget music videos that have absolutely nothing to do with the song and look like they could have been made by an 8th grade video production class. I took 8th grade video production. This type of vid was par for the course. Not enough cuts, bad special effects, shaky shots; that type of shit was bread and butter of 8th grade vid pro.
Colt .45 is my favorite track. It’s got that 60’s riff that music is missing today. If you are looking to extend your summer by a week or so, just crank this and drive the coast. You’ll be in good shape.
While I enjoy Butter a great deal, the earlier stuff from Turbo Fruit was more my thing. It’s a bit heavier and has more of the 70’s/80’s punk sound that I am so fond of, just raw, loud, rock n roll. One of my favorite tracks off of their 2009 record Echo Kid titled Mama’s Mad Cos I Fried My Brain is in essence the story of the relationship I had with my own mother in my early 20’s. She would warn me about partying to hard, I’d do it anyway, and then she’d be pissed. Classic.
How weird is that video? It’s like they got a handy cam for Christmas along with baby’s first After Effects tutorial and just went to town. The music is embodies the sweaty mess that is a good rock show. These guys seem to be attempting to recreae the era of swilling Jack Daniels and stashing your lit cigarette in the guitar fret. I’ll never forget seeing that as a kid and think of how cool it looked; dudes rocking out with the smoke swiling in the lights all around them.
Their 2007 self titled album is really what got me hooked though. It’s everything I like about the first Wavves record but benefited from no one making it out to be high art. They set out to make fun party music and did exactly that. Their song Volcano is really a thing to behold. When I first saw them live, they played the opening riffs of the track and the crowd became alive. I had never heard the song before so I was unsure what was about to happen. During the frenzy that is the final 45 seconds, the audience had morphed into a moshing swell and engulfed me. When the song finally ended, I was sweaty, bleeding a bit, and in desperate need of a beer.
They also do a cover of Ramblin’ Rose on the album that should not be missed.
This week, Turbo Fruits was my reminder that no matter how seriously I take my own shit, at heart I’m still the guy that likes to kick back with a beer or nine and watch Home Alone 3 on a Saturday night. I’m still the guy that pushes the envelope when it comes to Milk expiration dates. I’m still the guy that will leave a half eaten breakfast bar in his pocket. No matter what, Turbo Fruits can still bring out “that guy”, the carefree version of myself. Pick up one of their records and reconnect with the carefree version of you. You won’t regret it.