On this day in 2003, a very unique band with a fascinating look and a singular sound put out their breakthrough album in the United States. That band is Turbonegro, a collective of five metal-loving, punk-fueled, sex-obsessed Norwegians who dropped their sixth album Scandinavian Leather seven years ago. Lead by frontman Hank von Helvete (literally "Hank of Hell"), the band play an infusion of Alice Cooper-style theatrical metal, old-school Goth, razor-sharp punk and lighter-friendly arena rock that they describe as "death punk."
Though Scandinavian Leather was the group's first real taste of success in America, they had been kicking around for years on the European festival circuit and passed around via mixtapes and file-sharing mavens here in the States. Their 1996 album Ass Cobra scored them some whispers on the indie scene, with tracks like "Denim Demon" and "I Got Erection" earning them a reputation as a band who could deliver an anthemic riff along with a healthy dose of subversive humor. In 1998, they dropped Apocalypse Dudes, an album that saw them refine their sound without damaging their core aesthetic, with "Are You Ready (For Some Darkness)" and "Don't Say Motherf---er, Motherf---er" leading the way.
But Scandinavian Leather was a real tour de force, and represented the peak of their career. Instant classics like "Wipe It 'til It Bleeds," "Turbonegro Must Be Destroyed," "Drenched in Blood (D.I.B.)" and the tremendous single "Sell Your Body (To the Night)," the latter of which featured a tremendous video that encapsulates everything that is amazing about this band. Plus, it stars a bear!