AVENUE X - Turbo ACs (Gearhead Records/Reverberation)
This one seems to have taken a while to get through the pipeline. There are enough tattooed boy bands around these days to make me a little wary of this one at first sight of the photo on the inner sleeve, but once it starts playing any doubts are quickly blasted away.
A self-proclaimed greaser rock trio from NYC and Aussie tourists not so long ago, these guys don’t dick around, kicking off hard right from the gate, with a great dirty yet melodic sound that recalls Bored! as well as prime early 1980s Posh Boy/SoCal heavies like Channel 3 and Agent Orange. I don’t know where this Avenue X is, but it sounds full on- knife fights, cigarettes, sunglasses, and mysterious women whispering in Spanish.
The Turbo ACs like to mix it up a bit too, making plenty of space amongst the grunt and fuzz for some great surf twang licks, that cop some as much of their tone from Morricone as from Dick Dale. But there are no slow songs here. Not one. And no love songs or indeed anything designed to show their sensitive side. Lyrically they don’t mince their words, especially on “1-800” (“You don’t like the things I do/I got some advice for you/ Well baby, just call/1-800 EAT SHIT!) and “Anthem For United Humanity”, which basically consists of breakneck guitar and drums, with a massed “Fuck you!” yelled every eight bars or so.
They use odd snippets of movie dialogue as the intro of a few numbers, sampling that tinkly piano from “The Exorcist” at the beginning of “Magic Bullets” before returning to thrash it around a bit as the solo. Excellent stuff.
This is an indication of what our own Living End could have (should have?) ended up sounding like, if only they’d kept all the nuts and bolts tightened and hadn’t gone for all those preachy “rousing chorus” numbers that seem to make up the bulk of their work these days.
- TJ Honeysuckle
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