Scandinavian Leather, the latest effort from Norwegian death metal powerhouse Turbonegro, really appeals to the masses. It’s important to write hard-hitting songs on subjects with which all people can personally connect. Everyone will undoubtedly relate to songs like “Drenched In Blood (D.I.B.),” “Train of Flesh” and “Wipe It Til It Bleeds.” As cheesy as it sounds, Turbonegro attacks its music with an unabashed love that turbo-charges the cheese to an entirely new level. Heavy, anthemic guitars are contrasted with great harmonies. There’s even a nod to classic rock, as “Wipe It Til It Bleeds” is more Skynrd than Meshuggah or anything else. All the tracks are very structured and militaristic, with ready-to-chant choruses like fight songs for a Nordic Nazi march. “Sell Your Body (To The Night)” is the catchiest example of this. Although they don’t know exactly how one goes about selling his or her body to the night, they just highly recommend it repeatedly.
The subject matter is actually tamer than on previous albums Apocalypse Dudes and Ass Cobra, and for that matter the whole album is actually not quite as wild, with an occasional introduction of piano, accordion and other instruments to mix it up. They also tend to use the word “dude” much more than any other metal band, ever. Turbonegro isn’t about making deep observations on life or society; they’re all about rocking out, money and darkness. It sounds shallow, but the purity is refreshing.
Turbonegro is the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness of the musical world: campy and cheesy but with a cult following that embraces them. Their live shows are a spectacle. Frontman Hans Erik Husby rocks a demented magician get up and moves so fast it’s hard to keep up with the fat spilling out over his leather pants. They’ve built up an army of sorts called the Turbojugend, with groups of fans that organize chapters and hold listening parties. Scandinavian Leather (and Turbonegro for that matter) is definitely not for those who wish to be intellectually stimulated through their music, but for those who just want to rock out and have a good time, they’re the dudes for the job.