Music Reviews

Finnish Rockumentary 2003

Various Artists

Finnish Music Information Centre

So what’s on in Finland, then? Well, quite a lot, actually, if this 18-track sampler from the Finnish Music Information Centre is anything to go by. Formerly known for saunas and lakes, Finland is lately more often associated with fronting new technology and cutting-edge design art, and this transformation seems to have been reflected on the country’s music scene as well. The Hanoi Rocks and Leningrad Cowboys of yore have vanished, and a new wave of perfectly crafted pop, performed with hip casualness and chill elegance, is surfacing.

The Crash and Kemopetrol have already started to gain some international recognition, and their polished indiepop perfection works like magic. The most established name represented on here, though, is probably Nightwish, whose brand of operatic metal is leading the genre. “Bless the Child,” the second single from the band’s most recent release, will already be known to those who care about this music in the first place.

There are a few other interesting names on here. Rinneradio plays smoothly bouncing electro-jazz, while Lemonator delivers some unhealthy, solid power-pop. The 69 Eyes serve up melodic gothic pop, while the Screamin’ Stukas offer Slade-inspired glam rock. Lordi dress up like GWAR and sound like Spinal Tap, Mighty 44 cooks up some thumping breakbeat hip-hop for the kids out there, and Finnish rock pride Melrose are represented with a track from their recent comeback album.

Overall, this compilation makes for a fun, if somewhat bumpy, ride. No previously unreleased tracks ensure that those familiar with some bands on here may want to check twice before buying, but for the rest of us, Finnish Rockumentary 2003 provides an interesting and entertaining introduction to mainstream Finnish music.

Finnish Information Music Centre:

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