Thursday, September 4, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Turbo Snail vs. Safewerd (Captain Crook Records)

            There was actually a release show for this cassette and Safewerd canceled, which lead to the most awesome comment on Facebook by someone who said, “So then does that mean Turbo Snail wins by forfeit?”    I’ve been hearing more punk rock lately that has made me nostalgic for the Survival of the Fattest compilations, Punk-O-Ramas and other things.   I also find it extremely funny that the punk rock (and ska) doesn’t seemingly find me until I move back to Connecticut.   (Though Houston has/had a good ska scene.  I guess I just go where the ska is)

            Turbo Snail is a strange name for a band only because snails aren’t fast and there is that movie about it that had the snail on the friendly version of steroids about it.   This punk rock is hard hitting and right away reminds me of any combination of NOFX and Guttermouth.   The lyrics can bring to light such touchy subjects as religion and politics and Turbo Snail isn’t afraid to tell you what they feel.   In a lot of ways and perhaps the band that this reminds me of most is the almighty No Use For a Name and there is absolutely nothing wrong that—it’s just that the name Turbo Snail doesn’t seem quite fitting.

            On the flip side we have Safewerd, who is misspelled on purpose, and this is a particular blend of ska that reminds me of listening to the old Asbestos Records compilations.   (Anything pre-“Better Late Than Never”)   It’s ska punk that’s good for skankin’ in the pit (Do kids still do that?) and also resembles Big D & the Kids Table at times.   The vocals are almost spoken word rather than sung, but on the third song there is a much more traditional ska feel which almost brings to mind that of reggae.

            When I was growing up, in my formative teenage years, nearly every ska and punk band came to Connecticut for some reason.  (CT has also always had a good hardcore scene)   I’ll never understand it, and maybe it’s because Spring Heeled Jack is from here, but if you ever want to go to a show with five or six ska bands on the bill, Connecticut is the place.  

            That being said, I was in some ways raised on ska and have heard what could be considered everything from the best to the worst (Same goes for punk)   And it may seem harsh, but that is life, as I can judge these bands based more closely upon my past experiences than present ones.   (Because really, no ska band or even punk band can compare with these two right now)    So I mainly have to ask myself whether or not I’d go see these two bands play together and the answer is yes.

            For me, a good way to test how much you like a band is by whether or not you’d buy their merch at a show.   I once saw a bill where the Blue Meanies opened for Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger, and I was so blown away by the Blue Meanies that I immediately bought their CD.    So, yes, teenage me and even present me would buy merchandise from either one of these bands as they just sound far too good to not be ripping off something from my younger years.  

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