Release Date: Sep 11, 2012
Record label: Serpents and Snakes
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Punk Blues
For their third full-length, Turbo Fruits step things up and continue to have their own brand of reckless auditory partying. Turbo Fruits have been on my radar ever since coming across their name on a flyer for a $10 triple bill in Madison, WI. I had no idea who they were at the time but the name stuck with me. I looked them up and was completely won over by their deft combination of new and classic influence.
It’s becoming a slowly accepted fact that there are few better places to turn these days for surfy, fuzzy, garage-punk than Nashville, Tennessee. The land of cowboy boots is now just as known for acts like JEFF the Brotherhood and PUJOL as it is for Taylor Swift. Now one of the scene’s pioneering bands, Turbo Fruits, have been snagged by Kings of Leon’s label, Serpents & Snakes, to release their third LP, Butter.
The persistence of “garage rock” as a modifier for the music of Turbo Fruits is troubling. These Nashville boys don’t make “garage rock” ... they just make rock ‘n’ roll. The construction and execution of a song like “Gamble Tamble” is thoughtful and considered…the song just happens to kick ass.
Turbo Fruits may roll off the tongue better than "the Jonas Stein Experience," but the latter is starting to look like a more accurate handle for this band -- Butter is the third album from the Turbo Fruits, and just as 2009's Echo Kid featured a different lineup than their self-titled debut, Butter finds the band expanded from a trio into a quartet, with guitarist and vocalist Stein the only guy to appear on all three records. As Stein fiddles with the band's membership on each album, he also adjusts their sound and approach, and on Butter, he's clearly aiming for a bigger and bolder rock & roll attack, a little less frantic than he was in his days with Be Your Own Pet and featuring a mustachioed ‘70s swagger to go with the beers and ‘cycles they brandish on the back cover. Stein and guitarist Kingsley Brock have no fear of dueling guitar leads or fuzzy soloing, while bassist Dave Tits (no, really, that's what he calls himself) and drummer Matt Hearn keep their attack lean but cut a deep, unshakable groove.
When teenage punks Be Your Own Pet exploded onto the scene in 2005, their manic energy and wild reputation seemed so often summed up in vocalist Jemina Pearl’s occasional on-stage vomiting due to too much rambunctious bouncing (and perhaps attention0-seeking). While that’s certainly noteworthy, the band surrounding her seemed to get short shrifted attention-wise. Maybe that’s why side projects proliferated even before the band’s breakup, like Jamin Orrall’s early departure for JEFF the Brotherhood and guitarist Jonas Stein’s steadily gaining Turbo Fruits.
On their third album, Turbo Fruits offer ripping guitars and barroom aggression in service of throwback rock'n'roll. As the former Be Your Own Pet members told Rolling Stone, the album was recorded under the influence of Lil Wayne, 1970s soul, and Enya. Let that potpourri of sounds and influences simmer, because there's another thing you should know about Butter: Lyrically, it's an album of post-Garth Brooks country radio songs.