Turbowolf “Two Hands” album review

After a four year break the Bristol-based rock’n’rollers Turbowolf are back. If you liked their 2011 self-titled debut then you’re in for a treat. A treat of heavily distorted killer riffs spun on wobbly basslines and psychedelic keyboard fillers.

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Two Hands album cover

Two Hands released via Spinefarm Records features almost forty minutes of the hardrock variety, from the heavily synthed Rabbit’s Foot to the stoner influenced (yet poppy) Rich Gift. Avid listeners of the UK quartet will undoubtedly notice a massive slowdown from their previous tempostorm of a release. Yet, everything seems as turbo and as wolfy as it should be. The distinct sound of the band is still there but polished with a flannel cloth laced with aggression, soul and a genuine wolf’s relentlessness.

The album’s opener Invisible Hand starts of slow and melodic only to release the sheer punk-rock savagery dipped in progressive guitar riffs that leave you no choice but to headbang (or disassemble your furniture with a firm kick).

Next up, the gorgeously riffed Rabbit’s Foot. This tune will make you question your music preferences and wonder how much more distortion could be squeezed into a pop song. The synth (which I mentioned before) works magic, MAGIC! It’s like a cherry on top of a delicious cake, you will probably leave it, but it must be there.

The third track’s title perfectly describes your thought upon first hearing the main riff, Solid Gold. The background chanting/screaming perfectly fits the diabolic presence caught in the lyrics and is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine during the delay-driven interlude.

 American Mirrors and Good Hand sound like AFI songs with their fast, dancy guitar riffs and singing, yet the keyboard fillers add a distinct Turbowolfy vibe to them.

Nine Lives makes you want to hop into your muscle car and drive off into the sunset, or outer space (you don’t really care for psychics anymore, you’re too pumped by the raw, heavy guitar tone). Kyuss or Queens of the Stone Age could have come up with the riff and it would be a classic hit-the-road tune, but this is Turbowolf and they make you notice further down the song. The tone drops by an octave and the structure starts slipping into the divine stoner culmination of an otherwise standard riff. Yeah, that’s definitely Turbowolf.

The spooky, haunting MK Ultra could’ve been the albums opener, but it sits quietly near the end of the tracklist. Just like De Loused in the Comatorium sits in the back of every The Mars Volta fan’s mind. By the way, the track sounds as if it was a product of Omar’s guitarmanship, true beauty.

Twelve Houses zaps your ears with tremolo packed crackles of a guitar hurricane. This one doesn’t just tear the roof off of your suburban house, it destroys everything in its wake. A desert which can only be filled with the pure awesomeness of the next song.

Rich Gift, a true masterpiece of stonerpop (can you imagine?). This one has everything from the previous songs combined. Killer, progressive guitar riffs accompanied by melodic synthesised fillers which are too good to be true. The raw power coming from this tune is overwhelming and makes you want to dance, cry and kill, all at the same time. Probably the best song on the album. Go watch the video, it’s equally good.

The album closes with Pale Horse. This song could be the soundtrack to the end of the world, from the very beginning you feel closure. The Nintendo inspired synthesizers create a feeling of epicness. A great ending to a great album. 9,5/10

Łukasz K

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