New band, despite the fact that this is their third album. I thought should I listen to the previous releases or just listen and gauge the band’s appeal from this offering. I decided on the latter option. On first listen, I thought Mmmm is this for me. But it is a rule over at Bluesdoodles HQ never judge an album by its cover or on first listen whether the band is familiar or an unknown. Turbowolf is a four-piece with attitude the music is rock, contemporary rock that uses synthesisers and distortion to powerful effect. The sound is distinctive and at the same time accessible. They want you to have a good time, be uplifted by the music.
Opening very quietly with some spoken words, you are then straight into the melting pot of sounds that define TURBOWOLF with No, No, No. This is an opening number that defines the journey we are taking in the world we are experiencing. There is throughout, and on this opening number, a feeling of chaos, the misdirection by false news and how we are shaped by the media. How nothing can be taken for granted in the maelstrom of change and old certainties being challenged. The discomfort of the times is heard throughout the album as the opening track kicks of the third album full of a tantalizing mix of harmonies and discordant riffs.
Four numbers have guest musicians joining the band. The first number is Capital X, with Joe Talbot from local band Idles adding his vocals with more clarity than his spoken intro at the start. The rock is harder with strong guitars and the lyrics once again at the front of the music this is a band that want to share their thoughts through strong songwriting. The number is not the strongest on the album and doesn’t quite flow from the opener. Cheap Magic follows with Sebastian Grainger, adding to the vocals adding that extra texture to the tones. His and Chris’ vocals work well on this fast and furious short number. Now Chantal Brown, joins the vocal party her vocals can be heard in other tracks. Very Bad, maybe the title but does not reflect the performance of all musicians involved in shaping this number. The album is now fizzing the beats are deep and at times the music is darker then the brightness reappears. Last but definitely not least is Mike Kerr on Domino. The bass and vocals from Mike add to the high voltage delivery of Domino.
With the guests adding to the album we are left with the tracks that are pure TURBOWOLF. Halfsecret has a mystical feel snatching at the inner prog many rock musicians have. Again the high pitch vocals of Chris Georgiads captures your ears. This is a prime example of how the band on The Free Life captures so many nuances that make rock longevity a certainty with bands delivering music that is different for all the right reasons. The musicianship is superb, the rhythm section is the power base. Blake Davis’ drumming is absolutely superb throughout, shining on Up & Atom combined with the female voice this is a song that has a zest for life.
The title track, The Free Life is a realization of the integrity of the bass tones throughout the album where they are essential in the delivery of this fast and heavy number. Lianna Lee Davis delivers bass that sings a perfect contrast to the vocals from Chris with their higher pitch. The album has twisted and turned building and now for the number to close out will it be heavy, a ballad do they have another surprise up their sleeve? Yes, they do we have Concluder an acoustic number. Not folk, gentle acoustic. No this is TURBOWOLF we have to be challenged.
A third album that the fans will want to own. On tour, the fan base will grow. What the album lacks for me is that solid killer track, defining the album. The melody, lick or riff that sticks like an earworm reminding you to keep returning to the album. That said this self-produced album is one that grows with every listen.
Bristolians, TURBOWOLF takes the rock out of the city on The Free Life and twizzles the sound with an array of guest musicians on an album that zings with energy and verve. This is a band that surprises as every track unfolded we turned a musical corner to a new experience. They are not afraid to experiment this is a band on a journey capturing and shaping influences. These are from punk, heavy metal and beyond as the anthems and riffs curl around the lyrics and the speakers rock, On The Free Life, their third album it works. You return to the album as on every listen you capture something new, never predictable always intriguing.
SEVENdoodle paws out of TEN …
- No, No, No
- Capital X (feat. Joe Talbot)
- Cheap Magic (feat Sebastien Grainger)
- Very Bad (feat Chantal Brown)
- Domino (feat Mike Kerr)
- Last Three Clues
- Up & Atom
- The Free Life
Chris Georgiadis (vocals/synthesisers),
Andy Ghosh (guitar),
Lianna Lee Davies (bass)
Blake Davis (drums)
Joe Talbot – Idles
Sebastian Grainger – Death From Above
Chantal Brown – Vodun
Mike Kerr – Royal Blood