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‘Research Turtles’ on British Invasion Bands, Weezer, Recording and the Beauty of the Internet

“British rock invasion meets modern rock” is how the Research Turtles were described to me. “That sounds interesting enough,” I thought, “but do these guys really have the goods, or something unique in their sound, that will catch my ear and the ears of rock music fans worldwide?”  I wasn’t sure, but I headed over to their MySpace page anyways to listen to some sound clips and to begin to form an opinion on these guys. Well, after listening to just a few clips I had heard enough—“I’ll write about them!” I excitedly told my editor.

The Research Turtles were then kind enough to send me their album to listen to prior to interviewing lead singer, and founder, Jud Norman.  One listen through the CD, at a loud volume, and I was completely hooked! I had catchy song melodies and crunching guitars going through my head all day!  The CD has been played in my car almost daily since I got it.

It is with great excitement that I share with you some of the highlights of my conversation with Jud.

RRR: First of all, I just want to let you guys know how much I love your sound! It is very catchy music with a great blend of melodies, harmonies, and crunching guitars…

JN: Thanks man!  We really appreciate that, and appreciate your interest in our music!

RRR:  One of the first questions I have to ask you is where and how did you come up with “The Research Turtles”?

JN: Well, it took a lot of time and we had a lot of fights over it! [laughs] But we actually took the name from a line in a Wes Anderson movie, “The Life Aquatic”.  His movies have had a huge influence on all of us, especially musically.  He’s turned us on to a lot of great artists like David Bowie, The Kinks, and The Stooges.

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CD Review: Research Turtles – S/T

Born on the bayou of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Research Turtles are a band with buzzing British Invasion styled guitars layered on top of Foo Fighters styled grunge pop. It’s a natural mix that takes elements of the past guitar greats (Beatles, The Who) and fits it into chunky rock melodies that grow on you like moss on a tree.

Founders Jud and Joe Norman channel the melodic magic on the opener “Let’s Get Carried Away.” The heavy guitars plunge listeners into the Green Day-styled “Damn” full of both distorted guitar solos and harmonic choruses. “Mission” is a great straight ahead power pop single that should garner attention from a few radio stations that value good music. The southern style of the band emerges on the power ballad “Kiss Her Goodbye” and aggressive guitars race ahead on the excellent “Cement Floor.”

It tends to bog down on “The Riff Song” into a Led Zeppelin-esque gumbo of riffs and vocal distortions. The sweet “Into A Hole” is another highlight, with both melody and riffs on equal footing. The musical hooks tend to take a back seat on the albums second half, but for a debut this is more than enough to get excited about. Fans of Teenage Fanclub, You Am I and Bowling For Soup will also find a lot to like about these Turtles.

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