200112 / 210112
Talvi-iltain Hässäkät

This two-day mini-festival was held at the cozy Ykän Pub, a place where I've witnessed a nice handful of quality punk-gigs. Most of these bands are young ones with no made recordings, which probably was the main reason for the highly affordable tickets: 6 euros per evening, or 10 euros for both.

FRIDAY

The evening was kicked into motion (a bit late, but who cares?) by The Mondo Twist, a local rock'n'roll quartet that hasn't yet published their debut record. They played a relatively short set of good-quality groovy rocking with a hint of heavier stoner. Raw but clear sounds, good and energetic vocals, good and varying songs with enough originality... the band had it all. It didn't blow my mind, but was still highly enjoyable.

The (also local) trio Projekti 15 was up next. It was my second time witnessing them live, and I still don't quite get their music. They mix together really fast traditional hardcore punk a'la Terveet Kädet (whom they actually played a cover song from), throw in some wild rock'n'roll, and play their songs with great accuracy. The light sounds bring out the band's originality and bold nature, whereas the TK-style shouted vocals enhance their tradition-reliant side. I'm puzzled, and very curious to hear the band in a recorded form. Bonus points are awarded for the fat and tasty bass guitar sound.

Kovaa Rasvaa, or "three Snow Whites and a dwarf" as they introduced themselves, was the third band of the evening - and the third one that hasn't yet recorded anything. They played a short set of traditional and chaotic '82-hardcore punk with female shouts. They didn't shine with originality, but seemed to know how to vent out aggression in the form of raw, simple and effective hc-punk. I have a soft spot for this kind of a racket, so I can't really complain even if the band seemed to be (and is, as a fact) in their early stages. A few more rehearsals and the band will sound a lot tighter, for sure.

Masters of the Obvious, or M.O.T.O. for short, was the evening's headliner. The band from U.S.A. has played their ridiculously catchy garage punk/rock since '81, so it should come as no surprise that the gig was handled with great expertise. The duo on this gig comprised of the band's founder, the singer/guitarist Paul Caporino, and the session drummer Niila Kunnari (known from the bands God Given Ass, Boredom Boyz and The Heartburns).

I had to leave the gig a bit early to catch the bus, but based on the almost an hour that I witnessed I was left with zero complaints. A hit song followed another one, with a couple of slower ballads thrown in here and there. Mr. Caporino handled them all in a capable and relaxed manner while chatting up the audience, and even took a couple of song-wishes. The crowd seemed to really enjoy their time, as the front of the stage was filled with movement, heat, and the smell of sweat. An extra thumbs up is to be given to mr. Kunnari for handling even the songs that he hadn't heard before the gig(!).

I left the Pub with M.O.T.O.'s "Live in Turku"-tape in my pocket, and I'm sure it won't be the last one of their records I'll buy.

SATURDAY

Fewer people showed up on saturday, but Ykä's was still far from empty. The first three performing bands are Finnish ones, whereas Mad Pigs comes from Brno, Czech Republic.

Porco Dio got the honour of kicking the evening into motion. They're a young group with just one tape-release behind them. Their crusty '82-hardcore punk sounded as it should, and the aggressive female vocalist left little room for complaints - although the vocals could've been slightly louder. The band wasn't exactly sober and experienced some technical troubles, so it was clear they weren't presenting their best this evening. Even so, Porco Dio seemed promising despite this gig being a bit too passive, and I bought their 9-track demo/EP-tape for further investigations.

Next up was Backlash, a group that has been active since '09 and are currently working on getting their debut 7" released. They played fast punk that bows down towards Japan with its guitar gimmickry and solos, muffled and low vocals, and the musicians' high skill level. The songs were energetic and lively and the band handled them well, and the vocalist took care that there's enough movement on stage. Shortly said, if you enjoy energetic and Japan-influenced punk, you should keep an eye on Backlash's upcoming 7"-EP.

The evening's third Finnish band was the one I was waiting for: The Carnival. They made their first release in 2001 and have since kept themselves active with the band. Their music is a mixture of Terveet Kädet-style hardcore punk and pioneer black metal bands such as Hellhammer and Celtic Frost; simple, raw, energetic, and in some way very perverse and dark music. The group performed with great intensity, and the heavy employment of an echo/delay pedal in the vocals gave the songs a whole new disturbed dimension of lunacy. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. I'm eagerly looking forward to the band's upcoming full-length LP.

Whereas the first three bands were greeted with surprisingly little enthusiasm from the audience, the Czech group Mad Pigs got greeted with dancing, jumping and singing. The band's existed since 2002, and seems that they've spent the time well in perfecting their rock'n'roll-hardcore punk. The band was cheery and highly energetic, and their songs quickly won over the crowd. I missed the last two or three songs from them, but what I heard before leaving the pub was enough to convince me into buying their newest LP entitled "W.W.B.L.O." Check the band out if you like to pogo.