This is the debut record from Vapaa Maa, but certainly not the first time these fellows are showing their skills in making punk. If you know such bands as Abduktio, Manifesto Jukebox and Delta Force II (reviewed here) you've already heard some of these guys at work. This EP was released by the band members themselves as a 7"-vinyl with black-white-silver poster covers, and as a tape with three bonus tracks. The 7"-version holds the lyrics and their English translations, whereas the tape does not.

The band plays hostile hardcore punk that doesn't sound nearly as raw or Scandinavian as I had expected. The songs blast onwards fast with occasional rhythmic breaks and quick solos, but that's not all. The punkrocking melodic undercurrent brings some extremely suitable catchiness and lighter feel to the songs, making them very appealing right on the first listen without eating away their aggression. The band doesn't sound angry just for hate's sake, but are actually very skilled in their craft. The songs vary a lot, but are still recognizeable as the works of the same band. The playing is good, but suitably raw, and the same goes for the crispy but clear soundscape. The bass drum is a bit too loud for my liking, but it's no bother.

The vocals are rather clean shouts and its fairly easy to actually make out what the male vocalist is singing. Some shout-choirs are used in a couple of choruses, too, so there isn't really any chance to get bored by the EP. The lyrics are about everyday annoyances and the hatred they cause, army, Finnish government, money, working, nuclear power, nature and Earth's future... so they're pretty much as punk as it gets, and rather well written, too. Kudos for the English translations.

The EP lasts for a nice twelve minutes, so, considering the release format, you get plenty of music for your money. I've been listening to the EP for many, many times, and the songs still aren't boring me nor have I found any actual complaints in them. I'm sure the band can tighten and refine their expression further and add just a hint of more rawness into the songs, but other than that, there isn't a lot of "fixing" to be done. Recommended.

9 / 10