Music Reviews

New Bomb Turks

Switchblade Tongues, Butterknife Brains


The American punk explosion of the Nineties brought us a lot of drab-to-shitty bands, but there were some good moments in there as well. New Bomb Turks were certainly one of the best, and this odds-and-sods collection goes a long way to prove just that. More obviously inspired by MC5 and the Stooges than ‘77 British punk, New Bomb Turks play filthy punk rock with abrasive, smattering energy and a profound lack of coolness, incessantly focusing on music rather than on punk rock posing. Destroy Oh Boy remains their most essential release, if only for it being the first one. Yet, they haven’t lost any of their punk rock appeal, as witnessed on their latest regular studio album, 2002’s The Day The Earth Stood Still. And, as this collection of outtakes and rare tracks convincingly demonstrates, even when they fool around, they still sound as hungry and vital as ever.

Switchblade Tongues, Butterknife Brains pulls together vinyl-only material, some tribute stuff, unreleased tracks and outtakes from their last album session. It’s a big and wonderful collection of punk rock that serves both to pay respect to their musical heroes (Joy Division, Devil Dog, Aerosmith) and to prove their own relevance through a small heap of catchy punk. “Buckeye Donuts,” “Weekend” and “Sammer’d” all prove that there can be good things hiding in the vaults. Plus, unless you’re a die-hard fan, you won’t have heard their limited vinyl releases. The very nature of the disc makes it confusingly uneven and diverse, but it’s all good stuff and even newcomers might as well start here. You’ll end up wanting it all, anyway.


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