“America, it’s the land of the free/Most have rights, but they don’t extend to me.” These powerful lines open The Turbos’ latest release, “‘Murica.” Filmed by Caden Huston, the video that accompanies the new song shows the four-piece playing in front of a screen that flashes images of police brutality, sirens, and hashtags naming those who have been killed at the hands of police. As the video progresses, the images become distorted by screen glitches. With lyrics that describe faults between police testimony and recorded events, these increasingly glitchy images suggest a link between violence and manipulated truth. At the same time, The Turbos’ driving rock performance, as well as singer Alex D.’s moving vocal performance, compels the listener to think about resistance.
It’s an apt video to release in Columbus Ohio, which has one of the highest rates of deadly police shootings in the country. Just weeks ago, unarmed teenager Joseph Haynes was killed by police at Franklin County Courthouse. On Monday, members of Columbus’ #BlackPride4 were found guilty on 6 of 8 charges related to police interaction, despite months of communitypush-back.
“‘Murica” comes approximately a year after The Turbos’ debut EP Alternator, which was recorded after the members of the band – Matt Love, Cameron Reck, Lucas Esterline, and Alex D. – started working together as a side-project. The songs on Alternator take influence from the members’ disparate bands, as well as the Columbus rock scene as a whole. Though the EP comes in at just under 25 minutes long, each of those minutes is texturally ambitious, giving the overall project an anthemic impression.
The lyrics are charged, but that’s part of what makes listening to The Turbos dynamic–and the overall force of the music is reminiscent of your favorite ’90s garage-rock artists. It’s music that makes your body want to move.
At 8pm on Saturday, The Turbos celebrate their new single at The Shrunken Head in Columbus. They’ll be joined by Miller and the Hunks, who are releasing their new EP, And Jeff…pt. 2, as well as The A.M. Soul Society and Courtney from Work. For the sake of Columbus music fans, here’s hoping the show is only the first sign of more work to come from The Turbos.