Review: Alpha Motherfuckers: A Tribute to Turbonegro

Various Artists
“Alpha Motherfuckers – A Tribute to Turbonegro”
(Hopeless Records)

Norway isn’’t that one of those Northern European countries where people get 20 hours of light a day in the summer and almost total darkness for the rest of the year? There must be some meterological explanation for bands like Turbonegro, a band obsessed with the usual inanities of punk rock (pizza, hippiephobia, masturbation) who also had a penchant for blood, angry gay sex, and  denim clothing. During the 1990s, Turbonegro provided a tight, comic-book alternative to grunge, old school punk and metal by stealing the best parts, adding a little fresh ink and throwing the rest of the mess in the trash. Like the evisceral GG Allin, Turbonegro reveled in shit, piss and courting offense in no uncertain terms. They were among the ugliest, most vulgar bands
and few ouside of a small, core audience knew about them. Unlike GG however, they had killer guitars that made their songs  a little more palatable. Much like the Leather Nun, a Swedish band who also indulged in nihilistic, gay biker S&M imagery, Turbonegro was not lacking for musical talent. So it’s fitting that some of punk’s most gutteral heroes  – Zeke, Nashville Pussy, the Dwarves, the Supersuckers and 22 others – take their turn pulling a train on one of the strangest bands of the last ten years.  Alpha Motherfuckers is an homage of true conviction, albeit little restraint, a real rarity in tribute albums. The Supersuckers do an excellent job with “Get It On,”  (one of their standard live covers) a song which cries out for fist-pumping while lifting an Alice
Cooper chorus and a Ramones guitar lick or two. Therapy?’s screaming take on “Denim Demon,”  presents the story of a rejected gay punk who returns screaming for vengence with the help of a biker gang (“You’’ve got my penis steamin’/ And your asshole’s screaming”). Think a speeded-up, more militant version of Pansy Division fronted by a really pissed off Rob Halford. Zeke’s brutal take on “Midnight NAMBLA”  does the song justice, but even the most jaded punk might have trouble identifying with an unrepentant child molester. The Dwarves, who pair up with Splittin’ Wax, fare little better on the hateful “Hobbit Motherfuckers” assaulting hippies, ravers and retro punks. A similarly inspired spat of Scandinavian bands like Puffball, SpaceBitch, Peepshows and Motorpsycho render Turbonegro’s dark visions with a bile all their own.