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Nutshell Album Review: Turbo Fruits – Butter

After helping the music world make the astounding realization that more garage rock bands exist than The Strokes and The White Stripes, Turbo Fruits puts out their third album Butter, the follow up to 2009’s Echo Kid. This Nashville 4-piece isn’t one of the biggest names in the music industry, but they are also nothing to scoff at. In a world where power-synth bands like Foster the People break into the “Rock” Charts, Turbo Fruits keeps holding instruments with strings on them and putting out solid songs, while putting together one of the best album covers ever.

“Where the Stars Don’t Shine” opens up with a 1990’s wrestling theme song feel, but quickly turns into a guitar solo and wah pedal influenced song with raw, Dan Auerbach style vocals. The track is also able to successfully flip flop between musical interludes and catchy, somewhat 70’s feeling verses. “Gamble Tamble” is the second track, opening with a beachy, finger-strummed riff that breaks into a cloud of distortion in some sort of denim-jacket-wearing masterpiece. It features some incredible and punky guitar solos (The Orwells, anyone?) and a loud and powerful bass line. “Don’t Like to Fight” tosses a reverb on Jonas Stein’s vocals and adds in a 4-chord chorus to make it a simplistic, but legitimate punk song. It sounds like anything that could easily be a deep cut of (insert any 80’s high school, anti-establishment band here). “Harley Dollar Bill$” sounds like straight-up Nashville rock, with a very easy comparison to JEFF The Brotherhood. With a Pixies-style guitar riff and drum breaks, this track shapes up to be a solid one. Next is “Sweet Thang”, a song that honestly sounds like it has no place on this album. A beautiful and poppy love song that is truly one of this album’s gems. The best description for this would be Cage the Elephant trying to write an homage to “Ark Angel” and striking gold.

“10 Years” opens up with one strum chords and a drum roll, and dives into another very Nashville-sounding song. Again with the guitar solos and the overpowering bass, this track solidifies the core sound of this album. “Catch & Release” goes back to the beachy sound and comes off as just a very pretty song. Stein’s vocals are impressive, along with the syncing of the lead guitar track to the melody of the vocals. “Colt 45” is another strong one of the album, with a Real Estate take on the usual garage rock feel. “Gotta Get Along” is another one that seems to be an unnatural fit to the album, but it also officially draws the line down the center of the record where Turbo Fruits completely changed genres. In a somewhat jarring way, the quartet goes from garage punk to lovely beach rock without anyone really noticing. Butter then closes out with “She Said Hello”, another very upbeat song with great vocal harmonies and key changes, and “Ain’t the Only One Havin’ Fun”, a groovy, jamming song with gritty vocals, loud drums, and a trippy, Zeppelin breakdown. It shifts the album back to dirty garage rock in one song, and caps off the album with a bang.

Turbo Fruits are great in theory based on their loyalty to rock influences and guitar noise. In today’s music scene, it takes a lot of gall to try to recreate an old sound and the band deserves a lot of respect for that. Butter is a two part album that is one part crowd surfing rock and one part “let’s go surfing today!”. An overall good venture, and one that calls for a request for more. Butter takes an 82/100 and is available now.

Butter Tracklisting:

  1. Where the Stars Don’t Shine
  2. Gamble Tamble
  3. Don’t Like to Fight
  4. Harley Dollar Bill$
  5. Sweet Thang
  6. 10 Years
  7. Catch & Release
  8. Colt 45
  9. Gotta Get Along
  10. She Said Hello
  11. Ain’t the Only One Havin’ Fun
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