Turbo Fruits at Propaganda

Published on January 23rd, 2014

January 26: Turbo Fruits at Propaganda

In an episode of the web series “Records in My Life,” Jonas Stein, the frontman from Nashville’s Turbo Fruits, discusses a few of his favorite selections he pulled from the racks at Zulu Records, in Canada. His picks are as old as they are eclectic – CCR, Alice Cooper, Curtis Mayfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers. None of the familiar hipster favorites turn up, which may be why Pitchfork has never really warmed up to this band. Nor, apparently, did chic artists turn up while Turbo Fruits was readying its third and latest LP, Butter, from 2012: They told Rolling Stone that it was recorded while being influenced by Lil’ Wayne, Enya and 1970s soul, which, in combination, apparently sounds like boozy, shredding, slam-dancingly frivolous garage rock. Who would have thought?

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Nothing about Turbo Fruits says “21st century.” The band’s primitive, three-chord fury, gnarly vocals and inexpensive production values date back to the Nuggets compilation. Its first album, “Volcano,” was released in 2007, a few years after the so-called garage-rock revival of the Strokes and the Hives, and it leaves these hi-fi poseurs in its dust – another trend it wants no part of. Indie-rock cred, in general, is not important to these guys; take the great moment in its latest music video, for “Sweet Thang,” in which a bored girl considers playing Sonic Youth’s Goo LP but tosses it aside in favor of Butter, with its hilarious album cover of a knife slicing through a slab of butter embedded with the band’s name.

purehoney presents turbo fruitsReferences to pot and other drugs turn up a lot, both in interviews and in the band’s music, and gummy worms tend to be a recurring theme in their videos, which, I guess, goes along with the weed. But it’s hard to know how serious they are about the stoner lifestyle, because irony seems to be the group’s stock in trade. Their music revives the so-bad-it’s-good album cover and the long, curly hair of many a ‘90s grunge band, and in 2011, they even launched a music cruise, long the domain of MOR has-beens, and populated their Bruise Cruise with pure-bred garage rockers and fringe-y esoterica. It’s hard to say what they’ll do next, though it’ll probably have nothing to do with the latest music your record shop is seeking to promote.

Turbo Fruits will play Propaganda, at 6 South J Street in Lake Worth, at 8pm Jan. 26, along with New Coke and Lazer Puzzy. Admission is $5. Visit propagandalw.com.

~John Thomason