|Torpedohead - 'Greetings From Heartbreak Key' (Woodhouse Records)|
|Written by Ben Hughes|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2013 03:00|
The press release promised much, name dropping such influences as the New York Dolls, The Clash and Cheap Trick, they have even supported The Dolls along with Prima Donna and Dan Baird & Homemade Sin amongst others. Could this mean looking, tattoo sporting, leather wearing three piece from Germany really be as musically hot as the chick on their album cover? Let's pour a JD & Coke, put the needle in the groove, turn it up a notch and see exactly where Heartbreak Key is and whether it's worth the trip.
Opener 'Gasoline' certainly starts just the way I like it, a sleazy Backyard Babies style riff bleeds from the speakers and it all kicks in nicely as I clasp my hands together praying the singer has the sort of rock 'n' roll voice I would like to fit these riffs. Oh yes he surely does as well, Sven Spacebrain is the strangely named frontman and it's his guitars and sneer that make 'Gasoline' come on like prime Backyard Babies mixed with Hardcore Superstar at their best. A simple and effective chorus is all that's needed to make this Glunk Rock flow people and it ain't gonna stop for another 39 minutes.
Riff after riff continue to take me back to an era when 'Total 13' and 'Hardcore Superstar' were never far from my stereo, especially the likes of 'Love Is A Dog' with its catchy as you like chorus and greasy biker feel. 'Rock 'N' Roll Satellite' comes on like long lost faves of mine Junkyard mixed with classic Wildhearts, with one of the catchiest and instant verses I have heard in a long time, and it gets even better at the chorus. I instantly fall in love with this song, and want to press repeat but I need to hear what else they have to offer first.
Four songs in and I'm sold to be honest, and that doesn't happy very often, this is some good shit here. Torpedohead deliver short, sharp bursts of punk fuelled and instant rock 'n' roll music delivered straight from the crotch. The guitars are slung low, the energy levels are set to overload and the tunes are simply so infectious it just makes me smile and want to listen to nothing else all night. They take the essence of '70s punk and '80s sleazy rock and mash it up for the modern era.
'Moonshine Highway' is again catchy as fuck and impossible not to like, I dare you not to be singing this chorus after one listen. Upbeat and in your face, from the sleazy, dampened and chugging riffs in the verse to the balls out catchy chorus and onto the nice wah-wah fuelled solo, it will surely shear the edges of that xmas hangover. Sven here again has more than a hint of Junkyard's David Roach in his voice, a sneer which fits the vibe just right.
The countrified, harmonica filled 'Red City Lights' gives a sweet mellow breather to catch breath before the rockin' songs continue and to be honest they just makes you realise how average and safe the Backyard Babies became and how metal Hardcore Superstar ended up. If you miss the classic days of those bands then you need look no further than Torpedohead's energy fuelled, dirty, greasy Glunk anthems cos it don't get any better than this people.
Ending with the marvellous 'Rotten Radio' with a chorus that brings to mind so many bands from Rancid to Hanoi Rocks to The Dogs D'Amour, it's all in there like they've taken the songwriting suss and ultimate cool of all these bands and distilled it in to 3 minutes of this wonderful kickin' dancefloor killer that you will swear you've heard before and now can't live without it in your life.
'Greetings From Heartbreak Key' is one of the most instantly satisfying rock 'n' roll albums I have heard in a while. Proving two things to me, that these Germans sure give the Swedes a run for their money in quality sleazy rock 'n' roll, and Ginger Wildheart ain't the only guy with all catchy hooks up his sleeve these days.
I'm now just kicking myself that this album came too late to be included in my albums of the year list as it would've been a top 5 entry without a doubt, oh yeah did I mention it's got a hot chick on the cover? Essential listening as far as I am concerned.