Whether you’re a veteran fan of the band or Kill Everyone is your first exposure, the Turbo A.C.’s might just blow you away with this one.
(pause for laughter)
Seriously though, this terrible pun is pertinent because I, myself, was thoroughly blown away. I mean, the Turbo A.C.’s haven’t always been this good, have they? I have a handful of their song clips I yoinked from Nitro’s home page years ago and nothing really grabbed me. I almost have to wonder if it’s the same band.
But this is without a doubt a Turbo A.C.’s record. Scantily-clad female object front and center, just like Damnation Overdrive and Fuel for Life? Check. Puerile song titles like “Shut Up Pills” and “You’re So Stupid” to complement past gems like “1800-EAT-SHIT”? Check. Sweaty, sloppy, hyper-paced garage punk? Check. Well, kinda.
If there’s anything sloppy on Kill Everyone, it’s purely for aesthetics. From the first bobbing, popping, syncopated measures of “Feed You to the Sharks”, it’s apparent that the Turbo A.C.’s know what they’re doing and how to do it. Encapsulating the fervor and inventiveness of Rocket from the Crypt (“Emergency Room”) with the energy of the Riverboat Gamblers (“Ancient Chinese Secret”) and catchy hooks of the Marked Men and High Tension Wires (“Forget Everything”, “Shut Up Pills”, “Black Lipstick”, “Anna”, etc.), the Turbo A.C.’s cover their share of ground without ever departing from the cohesion that gives their album its unifying tone and storyline appeal.
While it is a little lopsided (the second half—with highlights of “Live Fast Die Slow” and “Black Lipstick”—is markedly catchier than the first), it’s one of only a few complaints that could be lodged here. The other issue is the filler tracks, justified possibly to maintain the cinematic, film noir storyline that don't end up adding much, like the instrumental “Sonora” and acoustic “Live Fast Die Slow” reprise. The intro track “Midnight Swim” sounds like a woman being drowned (which you can imagine is worth skipping every time) but then the cover art and clues in the lyrics make it seem like the woman is the killer in this story. It’s a bit hard to follow, and maybe it’s supposed to be vague, but it makes it hard to justify the first track without more obvious plot devices.
But with a focus on the songs, the Turbo A.C.’s Kill Everyone is top-notch. With no lack of energy, hooks, or gritty NYC passion, this disc has the right formula to embolden the believers and sway the cynics.