NEW BOMB TURKS: Switchblade Tongues, Butterknife Brains: CD

Bear with me. The New Bomb Turks are the Dunkin’ Donuts of garage rock. For awhile they seemed to be everywhere. Almost everybody with an ounce of musical taste agreed that they were a high water mark for the game, neck and neck with the Devil Dogs and the Mummies. They appeared to be on a long, constant tour and seemed to have a release every month for five years straight. I can remember a stint when I saw them three times in four months without really even trying. From Eric’s often imitated overdrive vocals to the adrenal stab to the heart guitars, to the almost supernatural songwriting sense, to their rock solid, no-earthquake-can-break-it rhythm section, there was no chink in the armor. There’ve been no bad New Bomb Turks songs. Sure, some are better than others, but none of them slurped shit. Donuts. People, such as myself, who appreciate the fine art of deep frying and cheap, plentiful coffee realize there are far too many pale imitators, far too many ways to fuck up the seemingly simple ingredients. In LA, there are no Dunkin’ Donuts. I get an acute pain every time I take a chance on mom and pop donut shop and the apple fritter crumbles like a stale dough turd and the coffee tastes like used oil. New Bomb Turks. I get an acute pain every time I take a chance on some pouty motherfucker who screams “brothers and sisters” or “Hallelujah” while their designer corporate garage rock sounds like acid poured in my ear (or a publicist spewing in my ear). I can’t fault Dunkin’ Donuts or the New Bomb Turks institutions for perfecting the game and delivering what I’ve been asking for the entire time. Long, strained metaphors aside, this cover-heavy album of outtakes, a lost EP, and harder-to-find international releases proves the continued power of band that can make odds and ends sound like a fully realized album that’s sweet and fuckin’ smokes.

 –todd (Gearhead)