Epitaph/Burning HeartA four-year layoff, some rehab and some disturbing reports that had them finding religion have done nothing to tame the sound of Turbonegro, a band so convincingly dark and taboo fucking the church-burning metalheads of their Norwegian homeland throw the horns up for them. But churning, down-tuned guitars and throaty, satanic yelling isn't really their thing: now more than ever, Turbonegro and the music they call death punk are shooting loads into the eyes of bland arena rockers. Think Alice Cooper or Def Leppard if Beavis had written their lyrics after popping a bottle of Viagra. Though sometimes slyly subversive, most of methadone man Hank von Helvete's words are about as graceful as a GG Allin song. But guitarist Euroboy has been gifted with fantastically flamboyant wailing abilities, and rhythm-axe man Rune Rebellion is a master of the art of simple Ramones dynamics. Together, they make rock with so much primal gusto you have no choice but to screech along in fist-banging bliss with tunes such as "Wipe It Till It Bleeds" and "Train of Flesh." Scandinavian Leather also finds the band polished and working on a much more glammy, theatrical scale than ever before. "Sell Your Body (to the Night)" and "Fuck the World" sound like lost cuts from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, while "Drenched in Blood" has a catchy surf-harmony thing going on, making it a solid choice for any summer mix you burn. Whether you hear them as hilarious or hideous, there's no denying their power.
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