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Turbowolf - The Free Life

Label: SO Records
Format: download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/10

Turbowolf’s 2015 sophomore album, “Two Hands,” was always going to be a tough act to follow. It was a brilliant collection of HARD tunes, that rocked and rolled with attitude and gave zero fucks about your genre boundaries. Their peripatetic approach has never come across as fractured or uncertain; on the contrary, they hit every note with a cocksureness and bravado confidence.


Their 2018 followup, “The Free Life,” continues the same ostentatious 'tude, continues the Silversun Pickups-meets-White Stripes-meets-Fugazi-but-heavier sound, buzzing behind its nasally guitar tone and shifting tempos. The previous album leapt out of its cage and attacked your throat with, um, two hands; this one is a bit more of a grower. The first superficial spin will be a slight let-down for those already initiated or for those with short attention spans, but subsequent listens will prove a bit more satisfying, and that satisfaction will build as familiarity grows fondness. Maybe it’s because, for all of the boldness and noise on “Free Life,” some of the fearlessness from the previous releases is gone. . . perhaps success has caused Turbowolf to tread a bit more carefully on their high wire. Maybe?
In order, the first 3 tracks are fine, but nothing more, and nothing that would get me saying, “Wow, you need to hear this.” The album really begins with the very good “Very Bad,” at slot #4, which leads to a string of decent tunes, including “Last Three Clues,” “Up N Atom,” and the title cut.
Because of all this, I don’t think “The Free Life” is the equal of its older sibling, but it is still a worthy addition to the Turbowolf album family. Don’t be discouraged by the above musings; Turbowolf continue to be important actors in the modern Metal and Alternative scenes. If you’re new to them, then I would suggest starting with “Two Hands,” before delving into “The Free Life.”

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