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Standout Track: No. 5, “Invoking,” which layers vocal harmonies and guitar riffage over heavy drum rolls and hard-crashing breakdowns. Turboslut intended the track’s breakbeats to be rapped over, but the vocalist the group wanted, a woman named MC Constantly Pregnant, wasn’t able to make the trip from Siberia to the States. “She was gonna have an incantation to make the whole song more loaded,” says Beck Levy, the band’s singer/guitar player. “Now we just rap over it ourselves whenever we hear the part.”
Musical Motivation: Levy often places movie clips in her tracks, giving the sound bites new meaning. A sample about the alchemy of turning “shit into gold,” from 1983’s Born in Flames is placed at the end of “Invoking” because Levy says it echoes the band’s songwriting process, but feminist sci-fi thrillers aren’t the only films she mines. “Whenever I can’t think of something to write about, I just put on some of my favorite movies,” she says. “You’d be surprised how much class commentary there is in Mary Poppins.”
God is Dead: While “Invoking” is dominated by Levy’s shrieking chorus of “I need communion/Without submission/Without possession/Without illusion,” the song’s final refrain is followed by a disharmonic plunge that’s supposed to evoke complete meaninglessness. Levy recalls drummer Jean Trapchak saying the segment “sounds like we caught an elephant and spent the next three months trying to reel it in. We wanted the song to be brutal.”
Turboslut performs Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Black Cat.