Growing up we’re always told not to judge a book by it’s cover. No matter how many times the line is drilled into our heads, it’s a difficult mantra to employ. Our quick judgments help us efficiently weed out the things we think we don’t want or need. I bring this up, because when I received Turbine Lounge from NJ native duo, Winnebago, I was fairly confident it wouldn’t pique my interest. Between the bands name, and the title of the opening song, “Drunk at the Track”, all I could picture was a generic hard rock record void of any soul. Much to my surprise, Winnebago’s debut effort, Turbine Lounge, is an alt-rock record with character and originality.
The highlight of the album is featured right at the start with “Drunk at the Track”. The song is a fine representation of the bands sound with it’s plodding drums, subtle but catchy hooks and lightly touched with a tinge of melodrama.
The entire affair is a low-fi production, but any greater production could very well do more harm than good. The distorted nature plays right into the bands sound, especially Chris Gennone’s droning vocals. His vocal stylings give the record a hint of dreaminess to an otherwise powerful album.
Despite the records definitive sound, Turbine Lounge is quite diverse, channeling the music of a number of different bands. On the mellow track, “Our Time”, Winnebago creates a song that sounds like it could have been the love child of Roy Orbison and Queens of the Stone Age. The driving rhythm, sawing guitar and pulsing drums on “Moonface” sounds akin to Interpol or Arcade Fire. All the while, the sound is very much their own.
Turbine Lounge is a solid record that dispelled my negative preconceived notions. It’s a powerful and eclectic record that sounds both authentic and original. Winnebago is a band certainly worth keeping an eye on, and Turbine Lounge is most definitely worth a listen.