The Prince of the Rodeo returns 11/10
It’s been 8 years since Han Von Hell aka Hank Von Helvete laid down his top hat, wiped off the face paint and left Turbonegro. Hank found Scientology which helped him finally beat his heroin addiction but he’s been noticeably absent from the music business. While Turbonegro fans accepted ‘The Duke of Nothing’ Tony Sylvester as Hank’s replacement, it was still odd that one of the great frontmen of modern times was nowhere to be seen.
On September 1st we reported that Hank was back with a new single ‘Bum to Bum‘ and two new singles followed after that which only served to intensify interest in the new album. Even Hank’s doubters had to admit that the new material was amazing and the man is back.
Turbonegro carved themselves a nice niche for camp, leather and denim jokes as they made fun of themselves and the “masculinity” of heavy metal in a genre they called Death Punk. Hank hasn’t tried to avoid his past or to do something different, Egomania sounds like a brand new Turbonegro album and a great one too. If you didn’t know otherwise then you’d swear it was Turbo, that’s how close it is. All the songs bar one are under 4 minutes long, they are infectious, there’s the homoerotica and familiar references “roaming the streets again”, and “gimme the money, the dirty dirty money” which hark back to classic songs.
From the opening note of Egomania we’re treated to classic Apocalypse Dudes era Hank with single Pretty Decent Exposure bringing the “Woah oh ohs” and the screeching guitar solos we’re so familiar with. Blood is a slow air punching track somewhat like City of Satan then Dirty Money takes us back up a gear. Bum to Bum is absolutely perfect, it’s the song which will silence any of Hanks critics and haters; it’s impossible to criticise this song if you’re a fan of his work and it gets better with each play. The video (above) is fucking brilliant too.
Never Again changes pace and tone dramatically in the way it needed to so that it could follow Bum to Bum. It’s a much more serious song that seems to draw on Hank’s past and his struggles. Ah screw this, the album is amazing from beginning to end and if you like Turbonegro you need to buy it, that’s all you need to know.
It’s amazing, it’s possibly the album of the year and while he doesn’t have a Jugend anymore, Hank Von Hell has immense talent and is better than ever before. 11/10