Turbogeist – Ancient Secrets

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Review by Jack Arkell

Spinefarm Records

Turbogeist excelled during their run of dates supporting Pure Love around the UK earlier this year, and here they are on top form. Bringing their energy in the live environment onto record, the London based four-piece have crafted what is a true hidden gem of a release. With not a strip of fat on this five-track EP, there is no chance of the tempo dwindling even for a second.

The band, fronted by Jimmy Jagger (son of a rather famous rock and roll vocalist), is completed by drummer Josh Ludlow; along with Luis Felber and James Dunson of Jamie T’s backing band The Pacemakers on guitar and bass respectively. Don’t let any of the above information create any preconceptions though, as Turbogeist are a completely different band than the sum of their parts suggests.

Fuzzy guitars and a slow-burning pace punctuate opening track ‘Mermaid’s Revenge’, a grungey number that serves as a prime example of Jagger and Felber’s harmonious shared vocals. ‘Zero Friends’ ups the ante, a blistering piece of paranoia-laden punk rock during which Jagger howls, ‘why am I scared of pretty girls, why are they afraid of me?’ Not one from the Rolling Stones’ lyric archive, that’s for sure.

‘Black Hole’ continues the trend in shifting the gears, mixing things up while still keeping the rough formula of big choruses, bigger backing vocals and grinding guitar strings. A highlight of Turbogeist’s live sets, it provides the backbone of ‘Ancient Secrets’ too.

A cover of The Wipers’ 1980 track ‘Up Front’ showcases some musicianship of the highest order, with Dunson’s trudging bass line more prominent than anywhere else on the record, contrasted with the frantic guitar solo played by Felber for the song’s bridge. Then, all there is to do is to round the EP off with ‘Rats’, which can only be described as a raucous, fist-pumping anthem that would be best suited on a soundtrack for one of the old Tony Hawk skateboarding computer games.

For a band that regularly update their social media pages with news on UFOs and comic books, Turbogeist clearly haven’t set out to release a paradigm-shattering, politically driven record. But that’s okay, because ‘Ancient Secrets’ is a small slice of high quality modern punk rock that whets the appetite for a full release somewhere down the line.

Turbogeist – Ancient Secrets8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Mermaid’s Revenge
  2. Zero Friends
  3. Black Hole
  4. Up Front
  5. Rats