The Turbo A.C.'s

The Turbo A.C.'s

There once was a man who made a boat to sail away and it sank. One of my literary heroes, James Donleavy wrote that. Unless you´ve been locked in a basement in hell, you already know The Turbo AC´s are hotter than a basement in hell. - I wrote that, for a pandering puff piece that appeared in Punk Magazine during my short tenure as an editor there. I was fired for reasons that are not important now. What is important is that I was never quite happy with the way that article turned out. To this day I can´t look at that piece without getting nauseous and throwing up in my mouth a little. I make no bones about it. I am an unabashed fan. I wanted to do a good job. Unfortunately my bad habits include sniffing drugs and getting my balls touched and those needs came before actually taking the time to write a feature that´s at least on par with their music. So I was shocked and deeply confused when Turbo AC´s front man Kevin Cole requested I write something about their latest studio album Kill Everyone. The biggest effing mistake he ever made.
I open with Donleavy´s quote because it always reminded me of the Turbo AC´s "skull and monkey wrenches" logo. Every time I see their sticker on a street sign, on the door of a bathroom stall, or plastered over their road weary guitar cases, I think of the quote and versa-vice. In Kevin Cole´s words: "I drew that logo on a bar napkin after getting news that all of our CDs melted in a chemical spill at the airport. It was our first tour and we had no copies of our first album. Needless to say a monkey wrench was thrown in the works." Instead of crying like giant pussies about their misfortune, they told misfortune to go fuck herself and just embraced it. And so it was, it shaped their world view; became a contrary ethos where what´s bad is good, what´s good is bad and so on and so forth. Speaking of giant pussies, do you ever wish your hair was Emo so it would cut itself? I know I do. I´ll stop now because I´m starting to get sidetracked as I tend to do when I´m high on cocaine. Just in case I´m being too subtle, I AM HIGH ON COCAINE.
I guess this space requires that we talk about the band now. They got a new album out. The title I certainly approve of. Kill Everyone. Kill ´em all. Let God sort it out. Equal opportunities - The Turbo AC´s; they give it. The wrath of math - they have it. Here´s a basic algebra equation I came up with while I was taking a dump this morning:

L + DD = TAC (Lemmy plus Dick Dale equals the Turbo AC´s)

It´s already been said a million times before by writers more gainfully employed than I, so I will reference the obvious connections to surf guitar hastened at Motorhead speed, if only to get it out of the way. The Turbo AC´s story begins in the early 90s with Kevin Cole on lead vocals and guitar, Kevin Prunty on drums and Mike Dolan on bass. "I wasn´t singing at first," says Cole. "There was another guy singing; Dave Crook, from Texas. But he had a nervous breakdown and disappeared. He left his wife and kid to go live in a refrigerator box." Cole stepped up to the mic and they eventually adopted The Turbo AC´s moniker, appropriated then modified from the Turnbull AC´s gang in the film The Warriors. After leading off on numerous compilations, their debut LP Damnation Overdrive was released in ´96 on Blackout Records. Two years of relentless touring, appearances on more compilations, as well as a split E.P.s and Singles followed, then Cacophone Records dropped their sophomore effort Winner Takes All. After more singles and more compilations, The Turbo AC´s then signed with Nitro Records and dropped Fuel for Life in 2001, produced by Roger Miret of Agnostic Front. A scant year after that, Gearhead released Automatic in the U.S., with Bitzcore retaining rights for Europe. Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves and mixed by their former manager Billy Milano of S.O.D., Automatic brought the AC´s a wider audience in Europe through their incendiary live performances and the quality of their music. Choosing to self produce their next record Avenue X, the chips finally began to fall in their favor. And all was well. Skull and monkey what?!
In 2006 original bassist Mike Dolan suddenly and "amicably" split from the band he help formed. The Turbo AC´s stuck their middle fingers in the face of adversity once again and soldiered on. They put in too much work to quit now. Through their friends in Flogging Molly, Tim Lozada, formerly of the The Hard-Ups, was enlisted to replace Dolan and former roadie Jer (rhymes with chair) Von Duck was cast as the 2nd guitarist. It brought new life to the band. "To have Tim and Jer excited, makes me excited," says drummer Kevin Prunty. "We´re all having fun again. We haven´t had fun in rehearsals in a long time." Surprising no one, The Turbo AC´s cut another album with 2006´s Live to Win; followed with yup you guessed it, more touring. After Live to Win, The Turbo AC´s embarked on their longest hiatus to date. - A whole two years. On their downtime Kevin Cole started a pizza shop, aptly called Pizza Shop with Jesse Malin of D Generation. Ramones art director Arturo Vega designed their pizza boxes and I got one hanging on the wall of my apartment to this day. Slated for a June 23rd 2011 release, Kill Everyone promises to be their best effort to date. Previous Turbo A.C.´s producer Blag Dahlia recently previewed the album and said "WOW! I dig it, sounds like T-Rex on pills," and called it a "new direction for Kevin Cole." - High praise indeed, even if that praise is coming from someone who is mostly high. "Evolved" is a descriptor overused by most music writer, but The Turbo AC´s really do show their evolution on Kill Everyone. It´s a departure from their other releases, a composite of familiar Turbo AC´s goodness with the spaghetti western-esque Sonora or the anthemic Black Lipstick, mixed with the slow-to-mid tempo Live Fast, Die Slow Revisted and peppered with ultra violence throughout. The AC´s are especially proud to have Gary Lindsey of Hank Williams III and Assjack fame providing guest vocals on Tu Vida Se Acaba un Minuto a la Ves. 16 cuts deep and produced by Kevin Cole, Stomp Records will distribute the album in North America and Concrete Jungle in Europe. "I really believe this is what the scene needs right now," says Cole. "We really need to kill everyone." And they do. There is no more alluding to violence. With lyrics like "Got no emotions, got no feelings, bodies piling up to the ceiling" metaphors are unneeded and the message is plain as day - you are a fucking dead man and your ears love it. "The violence is nothing new," Cole says. "It´s just not as cryptic. I think this album will upset some people and that´s the point. I smashed the old formula and melted down the pieces into a chainsaw." As I write this, The Turbo AC´s are hard at work shooting a video for their album´s self-titled lead single and if their past album covers serve as an indicator of what to expect, expect a boner. - A big one. It might also be released as a limited edition picture disk but you didn´t hear that from me. The album´s 10th track Black Lipstick will be released concurrently in Scandinavian countries on seven inch vinyl. What The Turbo AC´s never get enough credit for is their work ethic. The show must always go on and they are prolific in ways most punk bands aren´t. Veterans of more compilations, split EPs and 7" records than I can count on both fingers and toes, they are averaging a new album every other year with Kill Everyone marking their 7th studio release. Where most NYC punk bands have trouble gigging outside of the tri-state area The Turbo AC´s are touring Europe on their own dime, sleeping in squats, crashing tour vans and then fixing it with duct tape (true story, I swear). They´ve performed at the Warped Tour and shared the stage with Turbonegro and The Buzzcocks to name just a few. Their resume impresses. If the Turbo AC´s were a black man with a funny hair-do they would be James Brown. - They work hard. And when its time to hit the road, like James Brown hit his wife, they quit their day jobs and look for new ones when they come back. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. If success eludes The Turbo AC´s it won´t be for a lack of trying. Put that in your nose and sniff it. (James Lee

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