Nov 17, 2011

Modern Finnish hardcore. By that, I mean they know their punk roots and they’ve updated to the black ice, ice-pick, hard-scraping, atmospheric, moody/melodic hardcore ushered in by From Ashes Rise (Alkaen Tuhka Nousta) and His Hero Is Gone, yet has a distinctly European feel, along the lines of El Banda. Paranoid neutrality. Mistrust. I think that language and history are sometimes important in understanding music, so here goes. The land area that now makes up Finland was settled immediately after the Ice Age, but it wasn’t until 120 years ago, in 1892, that Finland adopted its own national language. Before 1892, Fins mostly spoke Swedish. (Russia was trying to woo Finland away from Sweden and figured if the Fins had their own national identity, they’d be easier isolate and conquer.) That backfired. During the Second World War, Finland fought twice against the Soviet Union, and lost both times. Finland remained an independent democracy but was forced to stay neutral through the Cold War, until 1991. Finnish has always sounded and looked impenetrable to me as a language. The band’s name is “Blind Spot.” The 7”‘s title is “Symptom.” Scandinavia doesn’t get much sun in the winter. And it makes sense now that Sokea Piste’s punk band legacy is Lama (“depression”), Riistetyt (“exploited”), Rattus (I’m assuming a play on “rats”), and the out-of-place-name-wise Terveet Kädet (“healthy hands”). A cold blast of ice-filled air from the north. Sounds like snow plows scraping near-empty parking lots sheeted with ice. Recommended.  –todd (Peterwalkee,