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Author: cphilpott Page 2 of 36

CLTM2022 #091: Turbowolf – Two Hands (2015)

I’ve mentioned Beatstar, the Guitar Hero-like mobile game I’ve been addicted to for most of the year, before as it’s introduced me (or re-introduced me) to a number of artists. British hard-rockers Turbowolf are another of those groups, following the inclusion of their track “Rabbits Foot” in the game, a song which quickly became one of my absolute favourites to play because it was fun and took a while to master, but also the song was great.

Two Hands is their second album, and it is both heavy and extremely tight, the guitar, bass and synth moving as one in sync with the drum work – some of the music here evokes the likes of Muse (the marriage of synth and drum in the intro to “Solid Gold” is one example), while there are definite comparisons to be made to the likes of Led Zeppelin (mostly the bass sound, which is fuzzy and operates like a second guitar) or the psychedelia infusion of a band like Mars Volta.

One of my favourites here is “Nine Lives”, seemingly a straight rock song, except it keeps you on your toes because the drum is on the off beat, another example of the kinds of interesting things the groups tries to do. And its hard to go past “Rabbits Foot”, which is a pretty great rock track beyond just being an album highlight.

I really enjoyed this one, and I dare say I’ll be seeking out some of Turbowolf’s other work.


CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.

CLTM2022 090: Steriogram – Schmack! (2004)

One of the most challenging things I’ve ever attempted as a musician – and achieved, to be honest with you – was to learn how to sing this album’s most famous song, the ode to stage security “Walkie Talkie Man”, while also playing the bassline.

The bassline follows the guitar pretty closely, and is a non-trivial riff to try and sing along to. The vocal line by Tyson Kennedy, though, is a rapid fire pseudo-rap that doesn’t really line up with the melody of the song. You know it well: ‘Well you’re walkin’ and a-talkin’ and a-movin’ and a-groovin’ and a-hippin’ and a-hoppin’ and a-pickin’ and a-boppin’ / Those bods are being bad, you better take a stand, you gonna wake up that thing in your hand’.

The day I finally nailed it, it felt lke a musical achievement unlocked moment. I can only imagine how Stereogram – a band with a connection to my home town of Whangarei, courtesy of guitarist (and eventual soloist) Brad Carter – felt when they completed writing and production on the track, or when it was picked up for an iPod commercial.

Schmack! is not, like, a brilliant album. It contains a handful of really great songs, including opener “Roadtrip”, and mid-album track “Go”. And it was able to back up the iPod commercial fame that came the groups way. But more than anything, its an insanely fun rock record. You can’t say that about too many of them.


CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.

CLTM2022 #089: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Unlimited Love (2022)

Let’s be real for a minute: the Chilis haven’t made anything approaching great, musically speaking, since sometime back in 1999 when they released Californication. 2002’s By The Way and 2006’s overblown double-album Stadium Arcadium had their moments, but they just weren’t up to snuff. 2011’s I’m With You and 22016’s The Getaway – recorded with replacement guitarist Josh Klinghoffer – were forgettable. Going back to Californication, that’s a 23 year dry spell.

Unlimited Love is a marked improvement on the Klinghoffer records, but it isn’t in the same league as the trio of albums that saw the Chilis ascend to rock greatness in the nineties. It’s nice to have Frusciante back on the strings, and the best songs here – especially in the early going with openers “Black Summer” and “Here Ever After” – are pretty good, at their best maybe the groups best in two decades.

And it’s so long. Unlimited Love should have been titled Unlimited Runtime, clocking in at almost 75 minutes, and you feel every single one.

The high points here are few and far between; once you leave “Here Ever After” behind, its the middle of the album before you hit anything that good again in “She’s A Lover” and heavier “These Are The Ways”. Later, “One Way Traffic” is another highlight. But those are just five songs out of 17 total. It isn’t enough to push this album toward greatness. Or even goodness. Colour me disappointed.


CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.

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