Friday, November 27, 2020

Turbonegro - "Rock'N'Roll Machine" [2018]

Artist: Turbonegro
Title: Rock'N'Roll Machine
Genre: "Death Punk", Hard Rock
Country: Norway
Release date: 2018

Track List: 

  1. Chrome Ozone Creation (The Rock And Roll Machine Suite Part I)
  2. Part II: Well Hello
  3. Part III: Rock'N'Roll Machine
  4. Hurry Up & Die
  5. Fist City
  6. Skinhead Rock & Roll
  7. Hot For Nietzsche
  8. On The Rag
  9. Let The Punishment Fit The Behind
  10. John Carpenter Powder Ballad
  11. Special Education

I think we all can agree that Turbonegro are much more than just a punk band. Their unique mix of glam rock, punk and hard rock/heavy metal was dubbed "death punk" (not to be confusted with deathrock!), and their international fan club "TurboJugend" has reached a level of a mini subculture on it own, known for the heavy use of politically incorrect humour and provocative imagery with a clear homoerotic innuendo:

It wasn't worse than Pål Bøttger Kjærnes (Pål Pot Pamparius) screaming out aloud: "Hey, let's put a new band together! What shall the band name be?" Pål suggests Mindburger. Another suggests Nazipenis (which later ended up as a name of the band's tribute band). But suddenly Pål remembers a tag he had seen under a bridge in Finstad, Ski. Turboneger (Turbonegro in english). Founding member Thomas Seltzer once said, "A turbonegro is a large, well-equipped, armed black male in a fast car, out for vengeance. We are his prophets."

Their final band consists of: Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby, vocals (Hank Von Helvete), Thomas Seltzer, bass (Happy-Tom), Rune Grønn, guitar (Rune Rebellion), Pål Bøttger Kjærnes, percussion & piano (Pål Pot Pamparius), Knut Schreiner, lead guitar (Euroboy) and Christer Engen, drums (Chris Summers).

 From an old interview with Hank von Helvete:

Q: But don't you know that in Germany the Iron Cross is a symbol of the Political Right-Wing and the Nazis ?!?
A: This symbol is a lot older than the Nazis. I don't believe they are allowed to incorporate these symbols for their matters, and that we are now forced to stick to it forever. I am wearing this sign because I am a dominant Norse homo punk rocker, and 'coz I love to beat up people.

Don't you love those guys?.. Their latest up-to-date album "Rock'N'Roll Machine" is easily one of their best, no worse than their legendary release "Apocalypse Dudes" from 20 years before. It's quite far from classic punk, incorporating a lot of elements of 80s hard/glam rock and even synthwave, but the true punk attitude is definitely there. My favourite tracks are "Special Education", "Part III: Rock'N'Roll Machine" (which again offended someone's sensitivities with the line "I work all day and I last all night and I'm cheaper than a Mexican", although the actual Mexican TurboJugend members loved this song, and the band themselves explained it as a "song sung in the first person by a character; a creepily love-sick cyborg bragging about how he is going to take over the world and destroy the job market. He’s also a reactionary and a bigot. Pretty satirical stuff..."), "Hurry Up And Die", and of course, "Hot For Nietzsche" (which is, in my opinion, one of their best songs ever, along with "Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker" from "Apocalypse Dudes"):

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