There's a charm to worshiping the big dumb rock of AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, and Motörhead -- when done with the proper lack of artifice, of course. Sadly, most American acts miss the difference between gloriously and insipidly stupid, and it's that distinction that essentially separates Turbonegro from such humorless idiots as Puddle of Mudd and Hoobastank.
Yes, the leather-clad Scandinavians' chugging roar emanates a garage-punk aroma at times. And many tracks, including "The Midnight NAMBLA" and "Blow Me (Like the Wind)," drip with cartoonish homoeroticism. But otherwise, Turbonegro pays loving homage to classic metal from the mid-'70s to early '80s, before hairspray went to the music's head.
The band's latest, Retox, is its most consistently enjoyable disc since 1999's Apocalypse Dudes. With "Hell Toupee," Turbonegro humorously acknowledges 15 years in the racket. Meanwhile,"Everybody Loves a Chubby Dude" finds the group screaming for food like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors.
If Spinal Tap were a going concern, it would surely sound like Turbonegro.