ALBUM REVIEW: Turbowolf – The Free Life

Release Date: March 9th 2018
Label: So Recordings


Turbowolf are one of those bands that just defies categorisation. That’s why their style of music varies all across the rock spectrum, from punk to psychedelic and old school metal. What’s more, you’ll be happy to hear that the expansive Bristol based four-piece have no plans of changing on their third album release, ‘The Free Life’.

‘No No No’ starts us off with a whispered intro before bursting into an addictive fuzz-filled riff beneath frontman Chris Georgiadis‘ vibrant high vocals and three-hit steel pan synth fill. This energy is carried on to ‘Capital X’, which serves up another tasty slab of riffy magic. Guitarist Mike Ghosh and bassist Lianne Lee Davies glide through the scales in a thunderous tandem together, creating a beefed-up grungy feel that’s constant throughout the record, whilst Ghosh‘s high-cut, fizzy, squealing solo may ring of Queens Of The Stone Age, but fits perfectly.

‘The Free Life’ also has a number of guest appearances throughout, featuring Idles singer Joe Talbot in the aforementioned ‘Channel X’, and later cut ‘Cheap Magic’ enlisting Death From Above frontman Sebastian Grainger; a song that serves up as an oddly rhythmic and stompy groovy track. The complete change of timing and tone in the bridge is trademark Turbowolf, but also dance-filled and sonically gripping.

‘Very Bad’ is a brash and bouncy banger that crashes in with a triple hit snare and descending scale before delving into supercharged, energetic punk verses. The soul-like feel from guest vocalist Chantal Brown in the bridge alongside a vibrato-hailed synth changes the mood completely, before snapping us right back into the full-throttle rock ‘n’ roll.

‘Domino’ stands out as one of the catchiest numbers on the whole LP, and will surely be a favourite for airtime thanks to the inclusion of Mike Kerr of Royal Blood fame. The chorus “Fall like a domino” is insanely memorable, and the roaring riff will equally have you head banging aggressively.

‘Up And Atom’ hosts a mix of both soft, synth-filled verses, grizzly guitars, and chugging bass lines, with big, boastful choruses that take the track back into comfortable Turbowolf territory. ‘Blackhole’ from the off is a wash of noise that clears itself into a high-paced frenzy, grinding through old school punk verses as Georgiasis counts through “When I was one… when I was two…” before that bold riff bursts in again.

The title track is a 6-minute bullet in a loaded gun, and fires straight at you with its grungy, groove-ridden playfulness with more twists and turns than a race track. The intro builds in with a single kick drum and grimey riff before an increasing tempo takes us into an almost new song completely. It’s a great showpiece of the band’s soaring high ambition before the aptly named ‘Concluder’ gives us a soft acoustic track to ease us out of a ferociously fast, fun album.

With an arsenal of big, ballsy riffs, a handful of guest appearances and a high-flying energy that is non-stop, ‘The Free Life’ serves as yet another constantly good release for the Bristolians.