Released on December 2, 2016 (Edgewood Arsenal Records)
The difficulty in trying to follow or emulate the mighty Steel Panther is exactly that, it’s tough to follow or emulate them. In a music world where just about everything has been already done to some extent and it is simply harder and harder to be original, Steel Panther have forged their own path successfully merging comedy with heavy metal, and in the process actually breaking through so to speak where they can make a living playing glam rock style heavy metal in this day and age. The one thing that is sometimes overlooked with Steel Panther is that the band members are awesome musicians and have come up with some of the catchiest, easy to sing along to, songs of the last decade.
This takes me to Turbo Shokk who appear to be the second coming of Steel Panther with their over the top sexual and sometimes juvenile lyrics, and comedy banter. Are Turbo Shokk as good as Steel Panther? The answer is simple: “No and not even close.” Perhaps it’s unfair of me to compare Turbo Shokk to Steel Panther but I can’t help myself after having interviewed the former’s three official members — singer Stack Manley, bassist Ryan O’Shea and drummer Michael Arcane. It’s not like Sleaze Roxx does not support Turbo Shokk in the latter’s musical endeavours as Sleaze Roxx did premiere the group’s “Backstage Betty” single a while back.
However, after having listened to Turbo Shokk‘s debut album Get Radical at least 20 times, I still find it at times annoying to listen to. Although Manley can definitely hit some high notes, for the most part he sings in a quite low register which kind of slows the songs down and takes away from the catchiness that one might expect of a glam rock band following in the footsteps of the mighty Steel Panther. “Put The Hammer Down” is a good example of how Manley‘s lower register vocals slow things down. The middle section of the song between the verses and chorus are filled with vocal harmonies that are mired in these lower register vocals. What could have been a shining moment for the song ends up being a bit of missed opportunity. It’s more of the same for most of the tracks on Get Radical.
My favorite tracks on Get Radical are the catchiest ones such as “Thou Shalt Rock” and the chorus portion of “Backstage Betty.” The lead guitar work on Get Radical is actually quite good but it’s done by guest musician Hedras Ramos. Hey Turbo Shokk band members, you might want to consider making or enticing Ramos to become a permanent member of the band. Now you might think that I am not liking to a large extent Turbo Shokk‘s debut album Get Radical but that is really the curse of the album and why I have listened to it so many times. Every time I listen to it, it’s good enough to listen from start to finish but it really does not knock my socks off in any big way either. Each time, it feels more like what could have been had they had a lead vocalist singing in a higher register.
01. Put The Hammer Down
02. Get It Up
03. Can’t Chain Me Down
04. Thou Shalt Rock
05. Backstage Betty
06. Strip Sin City
07. Shokk ‘n’ Roll
09. Sexth Sense
10. Rock Hard
11. I’m Gonna Love You
Stack Manley – vocals, opening solo (2)
Ryan O’Shea – guitars, bass
Michael Arcane – drums
Hedras Ramos – lead guitar
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tony Petrocelly
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, December 2016
Turbo Shokk‘s “Put The Hammer Down” song:
Order Turbo Shokk’s debut album, “Get Radical” now at https://turboshokk.bandcamp.com”Like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/turboshokk
Turbo Shokk‘s “Backstage Betty” single:
Order Turbo Shokk’s debut album, “Get Radical” now at https://turboshokk.bandcamp.com”Like” and follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/turboshokk
Turbo Shokk‘s “Strip Sin City” single: