Turbonegro - Ass Cobra / Apocalypse Dudes (Cover Artwork)


Ass Cobra / Apocalypse Dudes (2003)


I'm doing both albums in one review really because I think the story behind this band would have been told twice if I did, and I remember receiving some flak about doing it in by Templar's review. So, sorry if you got a problem with that but I don't feel like repeating myself or boring you twice. So on with the review: One of the darkest and most disturbing bands that have ever formed, Turbonegro is re-releasing their classic albums 96's Ass Cobra and 98's Apocalypse Dudes on Epitaph, and with the lead singer finally released from the Italian mental institution that halted the band in late 1998, a headlining slot on three major European music festivals, and a new album coming this spring they are ready to take the world by storm. This band brings together the theatrical antics of early Alice Cooper, with the urgency and power of Black Flag, mixes with the striped down driving rock of MC5 and the Stooges, and provides a healthy dose of attitude as well to create their own distinct form of rock that many have dubbed leather rock. Not to be taken lightly, this band can not be described in words, as much as a person needs to hear them to appreciate the power that they possess.

In 1996 Turbonegro released the first of two musical masterpieces. "Ass Cobra" was a period of growth from the band's original funk-rock roots to a down'n dirty rock sound. The sound of this band can only be described as a garage rock with an enormous amount of energy and passion injected into it. The sheer attitude and lyrical punch that is contained on this disc grabs the listener and doesn't let go until the end. Songs such as "Midnight NAMBLA", "Denim Demon", and "I Got Erection" stay with the listener long after a listen and only get creepier and more disturbing with each listen. Another highlight of this album was the hilarious spoken intros on Just Flesh and Imorgen Skal Eg Daue, begins with Steve Ignorant of Crass trying to shake the band down on the phone, the later a Norwegian punker discussing his distaste for American punkers going out with "new wave hooker girls". They are really funny even after the first time.

As great as that album was, it only got better with the release of 1998's "Apocalypse Dudes", hailed by Jello Biafra as "the most important European record ever". The band took their rock to the next level that even through much of the song writing was simpler, but the lyrics became more sophisticated and the power that each song posed grew to dizzying heights that only the masters of rock had achieved before. I also thought that these sounds sounded much more melodic and less garage rock sounding and more classic rock sounding. It also sounds like this had a better studio and more production but that doesn't take away from this at all. Songs like "Are You Ready (For Some Destruction)" and Don't Say Mother Fucker, Mother Fucker", while completely un-PC and classics and are often covered by bands of every genre including Queens of the Stone Age and Mayhem. The contradictory positive negative images that come from this record continue to amaze me. This band once again the breaking rock down to it basics is the way to go, with out trying to, this band was able to write a album that even five years after it was written it still sounds fresh, and is light-years ahead of anything that is being down today.

To put it simply, these are both records that a fan of any form of rock must own. They are the new form of rock, powerful, yet simple, at first unaccesable, but given time soon a person's favorite band. The albums also contain a live footage from this summer's festival appearances, which after watching makes me really want to see them. Great releases that are finally readily available for all, and all I am say is thank you to Epitaph for reissuing them, this might just be one of the greatest things they've done.

Salior Man
Turbonegro Hate The Kids
Get It On
Rock Against Ass