The Hungarian band Turbo, established in 2005, has an impressive history since all band members are well-known in their home country. In 2007 they recorded an EP that brought them national fame. After intense playing, their eponymous debut had been chosen 'the best pop-rock album of the year'. More live concerts followed and now their new album has been released to enlarge their fame.
Turbo is categorized as an experimental progressive art rock band. I'm not sure if this description completely covers the music on Lost Measure. Most songs have a kind of retro sound of the seventies which can hardly be disliked. The guitars have a clear sound without excessive effects, so the experimental part is a bit difficult to get for me. On the other hand the keyboards sound simultaneously modern and classical. Neon Spines is a combination of a pleasant kind of power rock with the emotional side of Pearl Jam, while deep down inside a Rush tune keeps wandering through my head. Crystal Valley holds a fine rhythm; it's a true stadium song that will be a killer when performed live. Liquid Silver is going back in time; it reminds me of the sound of the eighties with some hints to Budgie. The Hammond organ in the background played by Dure Szatmári and the vocals by Balás Tanka just do the trick here. Seven Skulls strongly reminds me of the seventies mainly due to the singer. His voice in combination with the sound of the recording, provide for those pleasant flashbacks of almost forgotten times. The radio-friendly opening riff of Liberator is reminiscent of AC/DC, but again the Budgie-sound takes over, bringing some extra tension in the song. A special mention is in place here for guitarist David Vigh, who unlike the vocals and the keyboards, has a very modern approach on his six-string, using all the modern techniques to keep the sound well-balanced.
The short interlude Ultraviolet (Healing Song) leads to Controller that starts quietly, building up to a powerful climax with a lot of modern rock influences. At the beginning of City Of Satellites power punk is the first thing that crosses my mind, but the great sounding guitar changes this song into another perfect live piece. I can already imagine a jumping audience in front of a big stage. Magnet takes you back to the basics; it's a rather introvert track. However, it ends powerful when the sound of the guitars increases the energy of the song. Gate Of Saturn shows the qualities of the rhythm section; jazz trained drummer Javor Delov and the energetic bass player Jero provide for a perfect base for the guitars and the keyboards in this wonderful song. The Tide closes the album with modern electronics, grooving guitars and a strong rhythm section. The retro sounding voice of Balás Tanka makes sure that the balance in the song remains.
Turbo's second full-length album doesn't cover the basics for being a real progressive rock band in my point of view. What we do have is a perfect album for a band that plays live on all well-known festivals. Regarding the more or less radio-friendly songs, it won't be a problem to gather all the open-minded rock fans and give them a great time during one of the live shows. For me, I would like to be part of the audience when Turbo hits the stage. It would be great if Turbo get the chance to perform on festivals outside of Hungary. They really deserve it.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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