Label: Yamabushi Recordings
Sometimes, a record can remind you of just how moving and artistic punk rock can be. There are bright, forward-thinking examples of bands who have taken the core “three chords, play fast” philosophy and left it behind, producing something that blends forward-thinking, progressive sounds with forward-thinking, progressive politics.
Turbo Chong aren’t one of those bands. Outrageous isn‘t one of those albums. And thank fuck for that.
Instead, it’s 17 minutes of prime fastcore/powerviolence, that builds on the best points of their Disrespectful demo, whilst coming across as even nastier, increasing the sarcastic humour, violence, and general “fuck you” attitude. It’s an absolute blast, and features some of the best/worst punk rock poetry you will ever hear.
One of the best points of Outrageous is one that might come as a surprise to anyone judging the band on their song titles: for fastcore, there’s actually a decent amount of variety in the songs. It’s hard to stray far from the template of this style without it becoming something else entirely, but with moments such as the slow collapse ending of “Mama Said Buck You Down”, the (relative) mid-tempo of “Feelin’ The Flava” (including a solo!), and their version of proto-punk classic “The Witch“, Turbo Chong add more variety than you’d expect to encounter in this genre. But make no mistake, there’s still plenty of songs clocking in at under a minute that fly past in a blur of maniac drumming and riffs, with some delightfully raw vocals. It’s fast, it’s violent, it’s bloody glorious.
But oh man, the lyrics. Some of the wordplay on here is so bad it’s good, and that’s surely the point. “UK hardcore can suck my nob / I’m basically awesome – and you’re basically not” claims “Basically”; “Your Dad Is Michael Barrymore” revels in its immaturity (“This mug thinks he’s a badman / Because he goes gym / My dads 9 iron / Will cave his face in”); and do I really need to spell out how songs like “I’ll Knife Yer Mum” and “Nik Rozanov Facebook Status” go? Even better/worse is when the band get – for want of a better term – sexual on “No Underwear” (I’m on your frontlawn / Wankin in your Koi Karp pond”) and the highlight, “Feelin’ The Flava”, which doesn’t mess around. “Shes got my cock / Lookin like a fuckin cucumber” is later followed by the oh-so romantic “She says pull out / That sausage and batter me”. We’re not far off GG Allin territory here, though with infinitely much better music to back it up. It’s so, so wrong, but so, so fun.
There’s sure to be some people out there who get offended by this, but I can’t help but feel sorry for them for missing the point. It’s so ludicrously over the top, it’s impossible to take the lyrics seriously – instead, their extremity compliments that of the music, bypassing all your good senses to result in something hugely fun. Turn on, disengage brain, enjoy. And much love for their Ramones-aping band names, too.