Goddamn, this is hard. I put these guys on the cover. I waited five years to do an interview with them. They’ve been a top favorite of mine going on eight years, right after Ass Cobra pinned my ears back. When Apocalypse Dudes first came out, I didn’t like it. Turbonegro deals in dramatic shifts that only become obvious after a little bit of perspective. Three months after first getting it, Apocalypse Dudes became attached to the record player for a year straight, and, to this day, is permanently on the high rotation shelf. Put it this way, as you many give faith to sports, religion, or youth crews for guidance, I have faith in Turbonegro to be the band that cracks my ear open. Who knew that they’d be my gateway to no-suck arena rock that I’d dismissed as purely cock posturing? They did. And so when I first heard Scandinavian Leather, I listened without judgement because when they played these songs live, they pretty much ruled. When I popped in the CD, I was ready for a continuation of the trajectory away from Negative Approach towards The Sweet. Yet, there were things I associate with the band that I full-heartedly expected. Deathpunk. The genre they invented. Granted, I’m talking from only thirty spins, but I’m sort of disappointed. There seems to be a shaving off of some of the snarl, of the danger, of the over-the-top erections and ripped anuses. In those emptied places are David Bowie-like flourishes that are more pretty and radio-friendly than aggressive or stupefyingly great. (The “Intro: The Blizzard of Flames” sounds like something Peter Gabriel wrote.) I find myself singing along less. But, I’m not giving up. Turbonegro has this microscopic spore-like quality. All they need is one vulnerable cell to infect, then it’s all over. My fingers are still crossed that my ears get split wide open once again.