LEBAKKO: Popkornikauppa: 12”EP

Nov 13, 2013

Raw, sloppy garage punk from Finland with clean guitars, melodic bass lines and vocals sung in Finnish. At its best on songs like “Jäätelökesä” (“Ice Cream Summer”), Lebakko nails some melodies that, even if vaguely familiar, totally work with the energetic music that lies beneath. I’d never dock points for singing in a native tongue, but when you can’t understand the words, the focus tends to be on the vocal melody and how it melds with the music. Unfortunately, Lebakko don’t pull it off as well as some other recent Scandinavian bands (Masshysteri and Tristess come to mind). Not taking full advantage of the recording process, the record is littered with badly off-key vocals. Perhaps endearing in a live setting, but not on record. In fact, this sounds like a live record, sans crowd noise. And I’d bet that if you cranked this up in an above-average temperature room, closed your eyes and sipped on a tall can in a paper bag, you’d swear you were at a basement show and loving every minute of it. That’s the environment where I bet this band really works, though I’d take a 7” with the aforementioned “Jäätelökesä.” It’s hot. Ice cream, please.

 –Chad Williams (PML, [email protected] / Mutant, [email protected])