BIG THINGS COMING
Released in August 2020 (Turbosnake)
On their debut release Big Things Coming, Canada’s Turbosnake offer up three songs of fun, carefree rock and roll… ”Only three songs?” you say? Well let me be the first to mention that big things do sometimes come in threes – breakfast omelets, great hard rock tour packages, meal deals at your fave fast food spot, and based on the double entendre (or multiple entendre if you think about it) album title, Turbosnake might even suggest that ultimate sexual fantasy of all fantasies… So you see, three is not merely a smaller amount to be taken lightly. Matter of fact, Turbosnake would rather you see the bigger package, um picture.
While Steel Panther strive to beat a sexual parody of a horse to death, album after album, and copycats like Germany’s Pussies on The Dancefloor and Japan’s Tokyo Spandixxx fight to be something other than smutty wannabes, Canada’s Turbosnake come off more heartfelt, fun tribute than satirical jokesters. Yeah, the over the top costumes and wigs in their new video for “One Woman Wrecking Crew” kinda comes across like guys who have been friends since high school gearing up to deliver a song at their 20th class reunion but if you listen more than look, deep down Big Things Coming is actually a threesome of really well put together old school hard rock tunes. Seriously, forget about the title for a second, peel back the snakeskin spandex and you’ll find more than adequate hard rock.
Speaking of “One Woman Wrecking Crew”, on first view of the video ,I have to admit to initially being distracted by the back woods, Jackyl-like southern vibe complete with lots of greenery, an old tractor, and tied on wigs. But even with all of that going on, I was more perplexed by the band uniform of jean shorts and beachy shirts. What? No snakeskin spandex? Hmmm, marketing opportunity completely thrown out the window. But that’s OK, still fun and we all know how a good distraction can come in handy these days. Besides, the songs are really way better than the visuals (and tongue-in-cheek hard rock cliches) so do yourselves a favor, skip the video and just jump over to Spotify and listen to the tunes.
Turbosnake do their best to cram as much rock and roll into Big Things Coming as possible starting with the whammy bar revving, drum crushing out of the gate rock and roll of that very “One Woman Wrecking Crew” that without the video to soften the blow, actually hits pretty hard. I love the Mötley Crüe-inspired break before singer Ryan Thomas jumps in with snotty vocals that you got to feel are in at least a small way, inspired by Vince Neil with a tiny tap from Bret Michaels. Fans of classic Crüe and early Poison I’d think would very much dig this and to top it off, Turbosnake bring something you’d never find with those bands, cool dual lead guitars.
Falling in line closer to post-millennium ’80s-inspired melodic rock, “Dogfight (The Fight of Your Life)” is a slamming blast of hard rock with even more great dual guitar topped with some great sincere lead and backing vocals. Think hard rock training montage music for a Rocky movie (or even Top Gun) and I don’t mean in a campy parody way. I am full on sold on this one getting Balboa ready to punch out who ever the bad guy across the ring is. Hmmm, could it be that baddie is this pandemic? Bring it!
Eighties rock fans all know that you can’t have a cool hair metal release without that mandatory power ballad and Turbosnake don’t disappoint with “When Love Comes Around”, a catchy song that tosses in everything we dig about ’80s love songs including the kitchen sinks of Night Ranger, Poison, Bon Jovi, and a few more. Enough kitchen sink to get everyone wet whether it’s from tears or, well whatever else you got. The chorus is superbly sing-a-long and begs for a sea full of Bic lighters waving in unison — oh pandemic be damned! As I listened, all I could picture was a flurry of classic ’80s black and white MTV power ballad videos with the audience passionately pushing up against the barricades and singing along. Anyone else miss those days?
OK, Turbosnake‘s Big Things Coming probably won’t change the world in any way and as has been the norm in the hard rock universe the past 20 years, will more than likely only go down as a guilty nostalgic pleasure for a few folks. However, I sincerely got to say, for the many in need of some great rock and roll to lift the spirits, take the soul back to better days, or even just escape for a while, man this is a great little package of joy. Sure there’s only three songs here but not a single one of ’em suck and if this truly is a sign of big things coming, I’m at least interested in seeing what Turbosnake whip out next!
01. One Woman Wrecking Crew
02. Dogfight (The Fight of Your Life)
03. When Love Comes Around
Ryan Thomas – vocals
Andrew Tapley – lead guitar
Grant Rushton – rhythm guitar
Eric Roelofson – bass
Greg Keegan – drums
Dana MacCabe – backing vocals
Engineered, mixed, produced by Eric Roelofsen
Reviewed by John Stoney Cannon for Sleaze Roxx, August 2020
Turbosnake‘s “One Woman Wrecking Crew” video: