Turbonegro - Retox
If you've ever heard a Turbonegro song you'll know precisely what to expect from this record. If you haven't, here's a quick crash course in the ways of the self-proclaimed death punks: they pedal heavy riffs, ridiculous costumes and gloriously absurd monikers like Happy Tom the Sailor. Oh, and don't forget the punning titles even Spinal Tap might baulk at (Hell Toupée, anyone?) because they'd be unbearable if it wasn't for the wry sense of humour that pervades throughout.
Wailing guitars open the album on We're Gonna Drop The Atom Bomb (a cheerfully dumb anthem complete with bludgeoning guitars that's pretty much impossible to dislike) and never really stop - they're a cheap aural thrill, guiltily enjoyable in short doses but exceedingly dull over the course of the whole album. The lyrics vary between standard topics of urban disaffection (Welcome To The Garbage Dump, Boys From Nowhere) and sex (take your pick, although Stroke The Shaft is impressively forthright), as well as tackling a subject broached less often by the hard-rocking gluminati with the epic Everybody Loves A Chubby Dude.
The band do at least attempt a change of pace for a couple of songs and, proving themselves sensitive boys at heart, whip out a pair of not-quite ballads in Do You Dig Destruction and the charmingly titled I Wanna Come. Elsewhere, Retox's closer What Is Rock opens with an intriguing 50 seconds of towering, glacial synths - but then the riffing guitars power back into action and we're treated to an overlong if undeniably amusing manifesto (sample lyric: 'What is rock? Backwards messages to boys and girls to bring machine guns to school') ending with a cheeky, repeated refrain of 'show me the cash... where's the money?'. If you've never heard a Turbonegro song, then seek this one out. If you feel hopelessly compelled to replay it seven times in a row, Retox could well be the album you've been looking for your whole life. Good luck with that...