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Fifteen years after introducing their non-stop parade of decadence to the world, Turbonegro are not only still alive and reasonably well, they're doing some of their best work in the studio, and while 2007's Retox lacks the sheer throbbing impact of their masterpiece Apocalypse Dudes, it demonstrates that this band has learned how to introduce a degree of professionalism into their music without draining all the fun out of it. Musically, Retox picks up where the relatively polished 2003 effort Scandinavian Leather left off, and this is the group's most sonically user friendly set to date, though the more precise engineering still leaves plenty of room for Euroboy and Pål Pot Pamparius' guitars to crank out a thick wad of hard rock riffage, and the production niceties for the most part reflect the vintage glam and metal influences that dominate their music; more than ever, Turbonegro have leaned how to emulate the sound and fury of the bands that got them into the game without surrendering the kinky identity, hell-for-leather vibe, or punk-inspired impact that's a major part of their appeal. And while "I Wanna Come," "Stroke the Shaft" and "No, I'm Alpha Male" are par for the Turbonegro course, they also rock with hellacious force, while "Hell Toupée" has a grand time acknowledging that they're not as young as they once were, and the epic "What Is Rock?" answers the titular question on several levels at once, and each one is satisfying. It's significant that one of the best hard rock bands on the planet in 2007 is one who've dedicated their career to getting up the nose of hard rock fans for fun and profit, but Turbonegro's allegiance to the twin altars of Marshall amps and sodomy is predicated on the fact they genuinely and unreservedly love rock & roll and all its glorious contradictions, and Retox shows they haven't lost touch with its stinky charms just yet.

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