Chew it Up and Spit it Out
If you have a hole in your life and that hole needs to be filled with catchy guitar-led garage rock, then Turbo Fruits’ latest, No Control will satisfy. Be Your Own Pet guitarist Jonas Stein knows the right formula, not only in structure but in sound, to mix punk, pop, indie-rock and nostalgic ‘70s surf-rock. Their fourth album contains eleven bite-sized gems that you may thoroughly enjoy while chewing them, but may not contain any nutritive value.
No Control starts with “Show Me Something Real,” with vocals and a simple picked guitar chord structure. When the fuzz and drums come in, you can imagine the rest of the band waiting for its cue – a head nod or the like – and it’s like they’re playing it for the first time. “The Way I Want You” almost echoes this predictable feel, but the slightly-off-kilter chorus saves it. On “Favorite Girl,” the tempo picks up but none of the hookiness suffers as the bouncy pre-chorus and chorus show. Throughout the record, the sound stays consistent: Stein’s welcoming vocals, the simple drums and the crackly overdriven guitars.
That is also the only issue with No Control: that there’s not enough to separate song from song. By the time you get to “Don’t Change,” you’re wondering if that’s the band’s motto: apply the formula and do not veer from it. Their Monkees-meets-Telekinesis vibe works, particularly in peppy numbers like “Need to Know,” the trippy “Blow These Clouds,” and the sentimental and sad album closer “Brother.” And if you had No Control on your iPod, you would know when a Turbo Fruits came on, you just probably wouldn’t be sure which one it was.
But no matter; it’s rare to find someone who knows how to color inside the lines as effectively as Stein does. It’s refreshing, and while it may not be a brilliant work of art, No Control is a picture worth hanging on your fridge.