Review By: Mandie Garcia
Anyone unfamiliar with this Nashville-based band will be pleasantly surprised to find ex-Be Your Own Pet guitarist, Jonas Stein, performing with his fellow Turbo Fruits band mates for Ellen Page in 2009's Whip It. The tracks featured in the movie use Page's love interest, (real-life Nashville singer/songwriter) Landon Pigg on vocals. No tracks were written for the soundtrack...actually, they were all taken from Turbo Fruits' 2008 sophomore album: Echo Kid. Not even Hollywood could deny Turbo Fruits as the perfect choice to portray a band hardcore enough for an Austin after-party...and cool enough to win a punk rock roller derby girlfriend. The sound and style of Echo Kid stays true to rebellious teen punk like Generation X and The Descendents.
All 12 tracks on Echo Kid are fast, simple, and bring that big, in-your-face sound of classic garage rock. The Animals' 1965 release, "It's My Life," helped frame the punk attitude with the lyrics: "It's a hard world to get a break in...but it's my life and I do what I want." Echo Kid successfully captures that rebellious energy and brings to life the freedom of being an aimless teenager.
There's dark humor and honesty in songs like: "Mama's Mad Cos I Fried My Brain." It's a confession to Mom and Dad from a good kid, making stupid choices, and crying out for direction in his life. This song, along with: "On the Road," give a glimpse into the mind of a troublemaker in that fun style made famous by The Ramones.
Other tracks like "Get Up, Get Down (Tonight)," "Trouble!" and "Naked With You," tell stories of teenage love, and having fun when times get tough. That timeless, dirty guitar sound is a powerful force paired with Stein's skilled playing. It's a notable trait that made T. Rex and David Bowie the strongest acts to come out of the 1970s glam rock movement.
Stein, who contributed backing vocals in BYOP, reaches his full potential as Turbo Fruits' frontman. His voice is icing on the cake when it comes to achieving that vintage garage punk sound. He hits all the high and low notes in a scratchy voice similar to a young John Lennon screaming "twist and shout." Echo Kid packs a sound as promising as the great rock 'n' roll revival of 2001 (The Strokes, White Stripes, Vines, Hives, ect), and it's reason for excitement. The final result: a perfect blend of music fast enough for the punks to break stuff to, yet catchy enough for the trendy kids to dance to.