Turbonegro - Sexual Harassment (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Sexual Harassment (2012)


Replacing a frontman is never an easy thing to do. While a select few acts have pulled it off admirably (Black Sabbath, AC/DC), usually the best course of action is to either change your name, or just call it a day. While Hank Von Helvete wasn't actually Turbonegro's original vocalist, he was the face of the band, and who most people would think of when the group's name came up. With Von Helvete parting ways with the group for a second time, the group have soldiered on with British-based replacement Tony Sylvester, a.k.a. the Duke of Nothing. Sylvester doesn't have the vocal range of his predecessor, but he has a gruff aggressive style that complements the group's attitude perfectly. As such, Sexual Harassment, the group's ninth full-length album, is closer in sound and spirit to career highlight Apocalypse Dudes than anything the band has released in over a decade.

While the group's more recent releases focused lyrically on generic themes of partying and the joys of rock 'n' rolling, as well as the perils of growing fat and bald, Sexual Harassment marks a return to the overwhelmingly in your face sexual content of early releases like Ass Cobra, complete with the heavy gay overtones that were the group's trademark in those days. New vocalist Sylvester's menacing gruff approach sells these lines perfectly. When he screams "He's the husband, you're the wife!" in opener "I've Got a Knife," you believe it.

Although a bit of a return to form stylistically, Sexual Harassment retains the fun factor of the group's last two releases. There are party anthems aplenty. Not many bands could write a song called "Shake Your Shit Machine" and not have it sound completely ridiculous, but not many bands are Turbonegro, and the track will have you singing along as well as doing what the title commands. There is a fair bit of stylistic diversity on the album however. The lyrically gruesome "Dude Without a Face" is perhaps the most straightforward heavy metal song the group has ever written.

Euroboy's guitar leads have long been a highlight of Turbonegro's music, and he does not disappoint here. His solos on tracks like "TNA (The Nihilistic Army)" and "Tight Jeans, Loose Leash" are some of the best of his career, and will have bedroom guitar wizards scratching their heads for days.

With Hank Von Helvete currently making terrible industrial hard rock with members of Marilyn Manson in Doctor Mercy and the Midnight Cult, it's clear that the talent in Turbonegro has not gone anywhere. Sexual Harassment is an ass-kicking, face-punching, booty-shaking slice of rock 'n' roll on par with the group's best efforts. Even with a new vocalist out front, this is very much a Turbonegro record, and it's hard to imagine any fan of the band not loving Sexual Harassment.