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This Is Hardcore: Turbonegro – Apocalypse Dudes

Gallows guitarist Lags picks his essential hardcore and punk releases – every Thursday on TeamRock

I remember when Turbonegro first hit my musical radar. But, oddly enough, it had absolutely nothing to do with music. In this case the band’s reputation had truly preceded them, as my friends regaled me with tall tales involving buckets of blood and “ass rockets”. While my companions painted the band as legends, I was quick to dismiss them as too gimmicky for my attention.

Oh, what a fool I was. Too caught up in the serious side of hardcore, I failed to catch onto Turbonegro’s wit and penchant for writing some of the catchiest punk rock songs ever recorded. However, by the time I was converted the then lead singer, Hank Von Helvete, was suffering from a serious addiction to heroin which forced the whole band to go on ice. What’s a punk to do? 

I’ll tell you exactly what I did – I threw on my best denim jacket and dived headfirst into their expansive back catalogue. Apocalypse Dudes, Turbonegro’s fourth album and first featuring guitarist Euroboy and drummer Chris Summer, was released in 1998. The introduction of Knut Schreiner (AKA Euroboy) heralded a new era for the Norwegian band. The previous records were a well-executed pastiche of Stooges style punk rock injected with the kind of rock’n’roll cliches you’d expect from Spinal Tap. The songs were fun and well-rounded but too raw to earn the band much notice outside of the underground. 

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