Reviews

Propaganda

013 Takaisin Todellisuuteen LP

This isn’t what one expects from a Finnish punk band. 013 play guitar-heavy rock ’n’ roll that’s greatly influenced by both early UK punk-pop and ’60s-ish garage rock. I think the early UK-type material is the strongest, but all their songs are delivered with power. If you like raunchy punkish rock, check this album out.

Appendix Ei Raha Oo Mun Valuuttaa LP

Not quite as manic as the RIISTETYT album, but every bit as good. Although APPENDIX has a very powerful hardcore sound, their material is more varied and distinctive than the norm. As a result, the songs stick in your head after only a couple of listens, whether they’re thrashers like “Paniikkia,” mid-tempo punkers like “Kuitenkin Kuolemme,” slow noisemakers like “Nöyrät Nuolee,” or combinations of the above like “Ai?” If you like DC’s SCREAM, you’ll get a rush out of APPENDIX. And dig that psychedelic cover!

Appendix Huora EP

Some of the well-known Finnish thrash bands are running out of ideas and getting more and more generic, but APPENDIX are not one of them. This tremendous EP maintains the diversity and panache of their fine album. “Huora” is a tense medium-speed track, and both songs on the B-side are terrific thrashers with hooks and/or sing-along choruses. Don’t overlook this.

Appendix Top of the Pops LP

APPENDIX’s new album seems to slip into that morass of genericness that many of today’s Finnish bands find themselves mired in. Occasional swipes of driving, well-written thrash (“A Man,” “I’m Scared,” and “An Ass Licker”) largely fail to enliven an LP that suffers from lackluster songwriting and a guitar sound bereft of real bite.

Bastards Maailma Palaa Ja Kuolee EP

Super fast thrash, the characteristic Finnish hardcore sound. The BASTARDS have strong vocals and a nice wall of noise, but the weak drumming occasionally lessens the punch and the tunes tend to blur together. That doesn’t keep me from recommending it.

Bastards Harhaa cassette

This band must be the Finnish equivalent of DISCHARGE—metal meets thrash at 120 mph. There can be no winners of a nuclear war at that speed. Seriously, one side of this tape is studio and one side is live, but both are excellently recorded. Propaganda strikes again.

Bastards Järjetön Maailma LP

Finland’s premier kings of total chaotic thrash. Hard-hitting, tight, and explosive fury with a metal edge. Bellicose convulsions of an invincible split-second attack of unrelenting mayhem. Brutal insistence sledgehammers an increasingly assertive charge of aggressive, raucous, rabble-rousing clamor. The BASTARDS’ velocity continues to be extraordinary, and they’re always creating more.

Kaaos Totaalinen Kaaos EP

A blur of indecipherable thrashing noise. KAAOS seem to have caught the germ that RIISTETYT just got rid of—lack of integration between the vocals and the instrumentation. The amazing “Uskonsota” really tears up the pavement, but most of the songs get lost in the jet-stream, and the guitars should have been mixed louder.

Rappio Harha / Kaupungin Kaunein 7″

RAPPIO’s 45 showcases the kind of punk that used to be common in Finland around 1978-’79, with its medium pace, poppy melodies, sung vocals, and hummable choruses. The twin-guitar attack and CLASH-style background singing make the B-side the superior song. An atypical ’84 release.

Riistetyt Valtion Vankina LP

The biggest problem with RIISTETYT’s earlier EP was that the vocals didn’t quite mesh with the musical backing, a discomfiting effect that made it difficult to distinguish between the various 1000-mph songs. That problem has been largely, though not completely, overcome on this intense LP. The drummer gets an incredible workout, and sometimes you can’t keep up, but Valtion Vankina is a great record if you like uncompromising thrash with good political lyrics.

Riistetyt Skitsofrenia 12″

RIISTETYT continues to produce insistent cranks of compelling aggression, an invasion of rapid-fire artillery frenzied in a blizzard of thrash. This time, they come out more musical, glowing with a metal appeal, strong leads, and creative arrangements, but still with the velocity of a speeding train bombarding the tracks in quick pursuit. Another overwhelming blitz of amplified mayhem that shatters the senses and leaves the body spasmodic.

Rudi Pelastusarmeija / Hei, Hei Maailma 7″

Not to be confused with the early UK punk band, this combo is formed of ex-RATSIA and PELLE MILJOONA N.V.S. members. Both songs are in an early pop-punk style, owing more to pop than punk, with an accent of high production.

Terveet Kädet Terveet Kädet LP

Believe it or not, TK has done it again. Although side two drags a bit (in relative terms), and the vocal and guitar mix isn’t quite as piercing as it was on their peerless Ääretön Joulu EP, this album is exhilarating in its intensity. The distinctive combination of paint-stripping vocals, flailing guitars, and tightly structured blasts of concentrated power lift TK into a realm occupied by a few awesome musical entities like INDIGESTI and DIE KREUZEN. As M. Bowles would say, this is “shredsational,” so buy the fucker immediately.

V/A Propaganda LP

OK, you’ve been reading in these pages how great Finnish punk is, so order this compilation of almost all of the best bands (save RATTUS, LAMA, KOHU-63, and a few others). That’s all the proof you’ll need. One band after another comes charging at you and demonstrates why this relatively small and out-of-the-way country is the tops in European thrash. Includes cuts by the BASTARDS, ANTI KEHO, KAAOS, NATO, TERVEET KÄDET, RIISTETYT, 013, MAHO NEITSYT, APPENDIX, SEKUNDA, and DACHAU. A must.

V/A Hardcore ’83 LP

The latest compilation from Propaganda varies in quality from cut to cut, but seasoned veterans like RATTUS, VARAUS, and the BASTARDS deliver thrashed-out songs close to their best material. Of the newer artists, the MARIONETTI and TAMPERE SS seem to be the most promising, especially the former’s killer “Turha Armeija.” With 35 tracks by 18 bands, you just can’t lose!