Sound — 9
No bullsh-t in this review, when any music fan (from '70s rock to death metal) listens to Turbowolf's debut, there is no doubt that they'll be blown away. Their sound is so unique, similar to Royal Blood's heavy sound and style, but these guys came first and rightly in my opinion, come out on top. All 13 songs are different in some way and the lighter "interlude" songs ("TW1" & "K-J") slot in nicely with all the other tracks, shame that no matter how much I love this album and the days I've put it on repeat, I can't help but feel that some main tracks on the album are just a bit short.
"Introduction" is a great build-up into an album like this and the synth mastery of Chris Georgiadis opens the song. The fast-paced riff in this song is nice and catchy, and the unique Turbowolf genre (still can't classify it) is immediately introduced and leaves a great impression. The intro leads into the classic song of theirs, "Ancient Snake." The riff Andy Ghosh provides is memorable and heavy, and the track develops well throughout with no parts of the song feeling empty. The song ends with Chris showing off his vocal talent with a long choking note, and at the end of that there's no way you can't feel satisfied.
"Seven Severed Heads" opens with a lasting impression with fast vocals and speeding guitar riffery. The song explores its own world as it moves quickly into different stages, however at the end of it I feel cut short of something even though the song comes nicely to a close. "Bag o' Bones" is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the record showing off the great drumming talent of Blake Davies. The production behind this track is great, it is so precise (even has a bone crack sound effect into the last chorus, tying the title in with the song)!
"TW1" is a good transition and has a great "epic" feel about it. Has samples from live shows these guys have done and is mainly made up of synth, not much else to say about it, but its an amazing interlude nonetheless! This leads nicely into their heavy song, "Read + Write," another riff filled song you could nearly describe as a dance track for its upbeat feel! The bridge of this song is what really hooks me into this song for its build-up and live gets loads of heads throbbing (trust me, I've even seen these guys live)! "The Big Cut" is another Turbowolf classic and a great song for a mosh, and is full of great tunes. The bridge feels a tad too long with a repeating bass idea, but the solo that follows it is more than worth that wait.
"K-J" is very similar to "TW1" and is made to sound like a strange samurai arcade game theme. Its a very unique minute and a half, and is another worthy interlude. Following that is "A Rose for the Crows," arguably their most successful song (possibly due to the use of the song in a popular snowboarding game "SSX") and is worthy of claiming this success. The main riff in the song is catchy and easily memorable with an easy structure and fantastic ending! The song following that is "Son (Sun)," a lighter song with great guitar works in it (the awkward Bb standard tuning is probably the song's only downfall considering I'm a guitar player myself!). The song switches tones well and is a great contrast to the previous track.
"Things Could Be Good Again" is an absolutely fantastic track on this record, acting as my second favourite song on the album (behind the last track, "Let's Die"). It is probably the most fast-paced song on this album and leaves a blood-stain in the crowd during live gigs. The bridge again is what really makes this song what it is, with a great guitar riff and synth/vocal idea. This leads into "All the Trees," a song I'd like to call a build-up to the ultimate track of the album. I love this song, it has great use of a repeating synth pattern and the vocal line is quiet and effective relating it to its feel. Into its fantastic heavy section, the riff is very catchy, and I feel its a big shame this band never have played this song live.
The final track, "Let's Die" does not disappoint as an ending to a great album, with its punchy riff and hypnotic synth sound in the intro and bridge, no wonder this is my favourite "Turbowolf" track. The verse is very well done and the use of synth and guitar for a solo works too well. The ending is mind-blowing, by this point in their concerts, half the crowd would've probably suffered concussion. I don't think I need to say much more about this track, just listen to it right now. No complaints with length here as it lasts a good four minutes and a half! The overall quality of all the songs is to a very high standard, the only downside is the length of some songs for me.
Lyrics — 9
I can't say much about lyrics as I'm more about the sound of songs and not the best critic on words, the overall impression I get from these guys lyrics-wise is that they're well crafted and suit their sound and Chris' gritty voice. My favourite use of words is in their great song, "Seven Severed Heads," as Chris repeats these lyrics over and over again, the title is engraved into your brain, and it's very impressive how he's able to sing fast enough for these lyrics to work within the song. Other songs use lyrics well like "A Rose for the Crows," singing 'we found a priest after all, lets go and bury them all' works too well. Only negative is that I feel that the lyrics seem slightly unclear, but that doesn't bother me at all, the whole album leaves be gob-smacked either way.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is my favourite album of 2011. Turbowolf are so unique with their strange and trippy, psychedelic rock feel. "Let's Die," "Things Could Be Good Again," and "All the Trees" stand out to me as my favourite tracks on the album, as I have said that I feel with some of the other songs, they're just too short. Comparing these guys to the likes of Royal Blood, recently having hits with "Little Monster," "Out of the Black," and "Figure It Out," Turbowolf are arguably heavier than the rock duo, however their style is quite similar. It is a relief that Royal Blood are promoting this new genre of rock and the fact that Turbowolf even support these guys for a tour in winter 2014 just shows their similarities.
The Bristol four-piece are on their way towards their second record, posting on Instagram that the record has been finished and is on its way towards us. Their brand new song "Solid Gold" is a change from their style on this album but not by too much, the vocals have been refined and they've incorporated a few more electronic elements. In November they are hinting to release a new track, entitled "Rabbit Foot" along with a music video announced on Instagram also, and it is definitely worth getting excited over. Another brand new song "American Mirrors" has had its live recording at the KOKO in London, and the recording is easily discovered on YouTube so check it out, but before I drift away from the current album any further...
Turbowolf's self-titled debut album is game-changing. It has many catchy riffs and great synth work alongside a talented group of players. The unique style of the band make their songs interesting and provide a great hook for the listener. If sometime I lost this album, I would buy 10 more copies just for spares cause this album is really worth that. This album is raring on 10/10 for me, but the feeling of more from a couple of songs gives it a heavy 9. I'll do a review on their next album once it comes out next year, but for now, listen to these guys, buy this record, and stick it on repeat for a few years, its really that good...