I was scrolling through Kerrang!’s online site on the off-chance there was something worth reading, and, weirdly enough, there was. Tony Sylvester, the former head of the London branch of Turbojugend (Turbonegro’s official fan club/world-wide gang) and their UK press officer, has stepped in to fill front man Hank Von Helvete’s dandy shoes. The Norwegian party-band went on hiatus in 2009 after Hank left to, and I quote, “Pursue a career in acting, the Church of Scientology and goth rock,” leaving me with a party-sized hole in my heart. Great euphemisms for a crippling drug habit, not so great for Hank. Luckily, he seems to be doing fine now, and just released an album this month with his new band, Dr. Midnight and the Mercy Cult.
And now Turbonegro are coming back, too! Happy days!
Turbonegro took a little getting used to for some. Their over-the-top personalities and pseudo-homosexual antics didn’t always go over well with audiences. (Especially in Worcester, MA. Yeeesh.) Bassist Happy-Tom is rather infamous because of his gaudy stage make-up and sailor uniform, and, well, some people didn’t quite “get” them. Turbonegro thrived on the reaction they got from the world at large — but it wasn’t all just a gimmick. If they wanted that, they’d have stuck with their original name, Nazipenis.
No, they actually wrote catchy, hilarious songs, combining elements of punk, glam, and rock to make their self-proclaimed title of “deathpunk.” With silly puns and titles (For example, “Blow Me Like the Wind” and “If You See Kaye Tell Her I L-O-V-E Her” — say the latter out loud if you don’t get it), they blasted through eight albums before calling it quits. “All My Friends Are Dead,” from 2005’s Party Animals, gets stuck in my head probably more than any other song. Especially when my friends are being extra ass-y.
I’m a little curious as to how the group will sound without Hank and his particular style of charm, but I’m definitely looking forward to hearing some new stuff.