TURBONEGRO | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Turbonegro are the scariest-looking bunch of faux homos this side of the Baltic Sea. Plenty of people consider these Norwegian glam-punk deviants nothing but a novelty act, and I'm sure the Clockwork Orange makeup doesn't help--neither do singer Hank Von Helvete's "assrockets," the Roman candles he stuffs in his can and lights onstage. (In a 2005 interview in the OC Weekly, bassist Happy-Tom said, "Our image isn't really gay--we're just really, really good-looking.") But the truth, once you get past the Tom of Finland shtick and biker drag, is that they're one of the most formidable hard-rock bands of the past 15 years. Though Turbonegro dissolved shortly after the release of 1998's masterful Apocalypse Dudes--Von Helvete was fighting a heroin addiction and went back to his hometown, taking a job in a whaling museum--the band's denim-clad worldwide fan club, the Turbojugend, soon tempted them back into the saddle. The new Retox (Cooking Vinyl) is Turbonegro's third album since re-forming in 2002 and their eighth to date--they've nearly perfected their Alice Cooper-Venom-Dictators brand of breathtakingly absurd perv rock. Mondo Generator opens. a 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $20. A --J. Niimi

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