Phases and Stages


Ass Cobra (Burning Heart)


Apocalypse Dudes (Burning Heart) This is some ugly shit, no question about it. Turbonegro came blasting out of Norway in the early Nineties clad in classic homoerotic rough-trade accoutrements: denim, leather, sailor caps, biker gear and mustaches, lipstick and make-up smeared on their faces, $10-hooker style. Their sound brought together metal, glam, and punk with furious riffs and decidedly impolite subject matter ("The Midnight NAMBLA," "Don't Call Me Motherfucker, Motherfucker," "I Got Erection"). Where the gay theme lapses into self-parody is anybody's guess, since it's so determinedly over-the-top trashy. Of this pair of reissues, 1999's Apocalypse Dudes is definitely the stronger, with songs harkening back to Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper. "Are You Ready (for Some Darkness)," "Humiliation Street," and "Rock Against Ass" all strut like a vodka-drunk leather boy walking into a bar. There are also RealPlayer MP3s encoded herein that sample the band's live show, complete with pyrotechnics and rabid fans. Apocalypse Dudes would fall into the self-conscious cheesiness of Spinal Tap if it didn't rock with such full-throttle ferocity. Ass Cobra (1997) is more on the punk rock side, although it's a brand of hardcore that makes most Nineties American punk sound like the Archies. "Hobbit Motherfuckers" and "I Got Erection" keep up the fast/loud/nasty shock-rock business, with "Imorgen Skal Eg Daue" opening up with a hilarious rant about punk rock boys dating New Wave girls. Gleefully offensive stuff any way you cut it.

(Ass Cobra) ***

(Apocalypse Dudes) **** 

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