Death By Snoo Snoo is a Finnish band that plays music ranging from poppy punk to hardcore and more humorous and experimental indie-spheres. This is the group's second full-length album, and it's available as a CD, 12" vinyl and digital download.
When I reviewed DbSS's untitled debut full-length, I wrote the following: "The album is a very promising one, and shows a band with many original and functioning ideas. As of now, the group's main job should be finding ways to deliver them in a more balanced and effective way, while still retaining the music's high energy level." Much to my joy I can say that this is exactly what has been done. The melodica-driven and atmospheric jamming songs are gone, and instead the band has focused on their expression's core characteristics: cheerfully delivered and mood-lifting punk with the traditional band instruments, with the melodica used just as an occasional add.
As mentioned, the songs vary quite a bit from each other, but they still share some characteristics that make them sound like creations of the same band. The changes from slower and calmer bits poppy and humorous catchiness to head-on hardcore songs (and something in between) is tied together by the light and airy production. It's professional enough to work in the lightest and poppiest moments, but also organic and DIY enough to please the ear even in the faster bits. The album's overall mood is energetic, happy and hopeful, but there are a couple of sadder ponderings to keep stagnation from invading the joyous moods.
One of the album's main characteristics is Hanne's (who's also responsible for the artwork) sharp and loud vocals. She has a light and very girly voice that suits both the child-like innocent bits and mellow moods as well as the raging hc-aggression, while also adding a huge deal of additional personality to the band's sound. The band's producer and bassist Lauri does some lead- and backing vocals as well, and his lower and harsher voice is an important factor in keeping Hanne's voice from wearing out its appeal. The band changed from singing in English to all Finnish on this record, which seems to have made the vocalists more relaxed and comfortable.
The lyrics are rather weird, childish and at times even psychedelic, but behind their light-hearted joking you can see into their writers' mundane problems and emotional troubles, as well as their longing for simpler times and joy of childhood - or perhaps I'm overanalyzing them. Similar to the musical side and the colourful hand-drawn visuals, one must decide whether they perceive the album's lyrical content as childish and ridiculous would-be art, or whether they're fresh, interesting and joyful. I'm certain quite a few people will be provoked, but I can appreciate the album's honesty and childishness. The instrumentation has some charismatic and human fumbling, and although it suits the band's style, it leaves me wondering whether the songs would sound better if they were played more accurately.
Overall "Tästä Saat!" is a well thought out and produced fruit of effort of suitable length, but there's still room for improvement. The hc-songs sound a bit blurry amidst the lighter songs, and the happier tunes lose a chunk of their innocence amidst the aggression. The individual songs are mostly all-around good with just a couple of them sounding boring or annoying at times, and the varying styles keep the album in constant motion. Yet somehow it still seems as if the band is in too much of a hurry to keep on jumping forward, instead of giving the needed time and focus on taking the individual songs' strengths to the maximum. The different ends of the spectrum overlap, and thus make the album a bit too safe and easy to listen to when thinking of its capabilities. Perhaps this kind of easy digestion was intentional, but I'd still say that this mix of extremes can be improved.
Either way, this album is certainly a suitable palette cleanser to have on your shelf between all the aggressive punk. It might help if you're into Aurinkokerho, Radiopuhelimet-style bouncy riffs and using humour in music.