[sic] Magazine

Turbo Fruits – No Control

Emotions, man. What a drag. Jonas Stein has come a long way since his hedonistic days with cult art-punk outfit Be Your Own Pet and on No Control, Turbo Fruits’ largely self-financed fourth LP, he’s finally growing up if not quite coming of age. The party’s certainly over in any case as it’s an album on which the four-piece mature through self-introspection, dwelling on the same sort of “out-of-love” songs that Colleen Green wallowed in early this year. All the same the band’s trademark melodies and strong hooks remain, strewn now amidst tales of drowning one’s sorrows and of Stein cheating on his “Favorite Girl”. Despite its breezy garage-pop overtones he intones during its course that “I can’t stand myself anymore”. He’s got the blues bad and some of them are of his own making. Understandably then he’s low on confidence, too, subduing his general level of garage-fuzz and limiting his shred to a few cheek-stinging outros.

Stein’s revolving-door policy on band-mates, however, has stabilised since the recruitment of childhood friend Kingsley Brock on guitar in 2010 and, ironically enough when considering the LP’s title, the Turbo Fruits line-up have rarely been in more control musically. The simmering and lightly psychedelic “Show Me Something Real”, for example, shows the restraint Stein can’t as he sings “I just can’t help the way I feel”. The interplay of guitars and vocals chime like vintage-era Strokes on “Don’t Let Me Break Your Heart Again”, too, just as “No Reason To Stay” hints at the disinterested sneer of Julian Casablancas – a track produced and recorded by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys who stepped in to save the day when the Turbo Fruits kitty ran low. He has his hand in the “The Way I Want You” as well, a ballsy romp that steps on the pedals for big choruses as Stein sighs his way through the ways in which he can’t have the girl.

No Control’s heavy-hearted and relatable running-order reaches emotional climax on its well sequenced closer. “Big Brother” begins with humble strumming before routing through Mark Everett-style woe and on to guitar licks that really do gently weep. Stein’s primal howl, his need for his brother: “I need you here to take my pain away”, isn’t poetry but it is lump-in-the-throat heartfelt. Previous albums, fun though they’ve been, have always felt a little disposable. No Control on the other hand, and through happenstance more than design, is the first Turbo Fruits LP that feels like it was written because it had to be.

Best track: “Don’t Let Me Break Your Heart Again”

~No Control is released April 20th 2015 via Thirty Tigers and Melvin Records.~