Turbo Fruits NME Review

1 12 2009

Here’s a reprint of my review of the ace Turbo Fruits record that ran in the NME last week. I’m particularly proud of this one coz I managed to get in mentions of the Murder City Devils and RFTC.

Turbo Fruits

Echo Kid

(Ark Recordings)


It’s been a decidedly difficult decade for devotees of sleazy rock ‘n’ roll. Thanks to the untimely demise of torchbearers such as the Murder City Devils and Rocket from the Crypt at the start of the noughties, there’s more life round Dracula’s house these days than there is in that once fertile scene. However, all that might change with the release of ‘Echo Kid,’ Tennessee tearaways Turbo Fruits’ second stab at success.

Springing from the over-active imagination of former Be Your Own Pet guitar slinger Jonas Stein, the record is a testament to just how inspirational teenage kicks can be. Comprising of 12 tracks, ‘Echo Kid’ wears its Dead Boys and Marc Bolan influences on its tattered flannel sleeve, but whereas their debut may have been a little too preoccupied with drugs-this one’s all about the hugs (of the sexy kind of course).

Starting with a riff ripped right out of RFTC/Night Marchers mainman John Reiss’ songbook (‘International Language of Love’), the record begins a little bit like a Ritalin fuelled brat and it doesn’t let up for 35minutes. While many of the tracks possess that same spazz-core energy of Stein’s former outfit, it has to be said that they’re also a lot more refined than anything he’s written before (well, he has turned 21 after all…). ‘Naked With You’ is packed with layers of sugar sweet harmonies, ‘Hold Me’ is a loved up, waltzing sea shanty and ‘Get Up Get On Down (Tonight)’ sounds like they whipped out their Ouija boards and enlisted a zombie Eddie Cochran to provide the retro guitar licks.

 Lyrically speaking we’re talking Ramone influences rather than Rimbaud (“What happened girl/You used to take care of me/Now you’ve got a new boy/ Who’s big and scares me” croons Jonas in his best Bolan impression on ‘My Stupid Heart’) and very rarely do we catch a glimpse into the trio’s real lives. But that’s ok, as this record is all about escapism and raising the tempo while lowering the tone. For all its slightly brainless subject matter, ‘Echo Kid’ is still as much fun as watching your worst enemy get punched in the nards by Ricky Hatton  though and by the climax of album closer ‘Broadzilla’ it’s clear that Turbo Fruits have delivered a very tasty treat indeed. So what are you waiting for? Dig in.  Edwin McFee

Download: 1) ‘Naked With You,’ 2) ‘Lotta Lotta Ladies,’ 3) ‘My Stupid Heart’