The Turbos sounds like a reasonable name for the latest team of spandex-and-leather-clad heroes who are determined to save Earth from certain annihilation in some big-budget summer blockbuster.

In reality, it's the collective moniker of one of the capital city's most daring and courageous new rock groups.

Crime-fighters or not, the Turbos -- bassist Cameron Reck and co-frontmen Alex D. and Lucas Esterline on guitar and vocals -- are undertaking a summer of heroics and adventure worthy of the silver screen.

The group recently performed a set on ComFest's Off Ramp stage, an honor that cements it among the city's finest new musical talent, and the band also has embarked on its first tour, which will find the Turbos zig-zagging across the Midwest throughout August.

All of this comes on the heels of two new singles and accompanying music videos.

One of these, a hard-rocking anthem titled "'Murica," expresses thoughts on racial inequality and killings of black suspects by police. With such hard-hitting subject matter, the possibility of audience alienation is not lost on the group, especially as it presents its music to new listeners.

"Alex wrote it, and we immediately faced backlash," Esterline said. "It opens you up to get blasted -- 'I won't buy that shirt with the upside down flag on it!' "

"We have our love songs, too," Reck said.

Though committed to social consciousness, the Turbos members are hesitant to self-label as a political band. While selecting songs from its catalog to record on its debut EP released earlier this spring, the Turbos claim simply to have picked the ones that "rocked," regardless of the message conveyed by each song.

With younger generations gravitating to hip-hop and electronic acts, the conversation in rock circles often turns to the need for a savior -- a group that will get kids interested in rock music again, restoring the genre to its venerated place atop the musical hierarchy.

"I don't think you can save rock 'n' roll by sticking to what rock has been," Alex D. said. "Right now, we're looking for the next Strokes -- an all-American band that changes things up but still respects the past."

Though still near the beginning of the journey, the Turbos might just be the heroes rock 'n' roll needs.

Mike Thomas is a feature writer for In The Record Store. ThisWeek publishes a weekly feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.