“Why make a soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist?” is probably a question Janne Perttula, the founding and sole member of Heroin and Your Veins, often stumbles upon. The way I see it, it won’t be long before we actually hear Perttula’s music in cinema. The outstanding quality of his releases and all that soul in his music is bound to be heard on soundtracks of all those noir mysteries and erotic crime films yet to be made, in the same time raising this release above the mediocre bulk of the instrumental scene.

Cinematic music is a tricky concept. So much relies on the listeners own imagination and film preferences in general. If you happen to be a massive David Lynch fan, who truly loves the twangy, twisted take on old American music by Angelo Badalamenti and why not the director himself on his latest record, you simply can’t afford to pass on this release. Everything seems to be noir and mystery in Perttula’s world. Nausea is certainly not easy listening with themes circling murder, hallucinations and intoxication. The record is a trip into the mind of savage killers, dangerous vixens and desperate, tragic figures destined for slow, agonizing deaths in abandoned storage buildings.

The mellow, yet eerie high point of the record called simply “Murder Theme”, takes you to those dark alleyways where nothing good can ever happen. Exhaust fumes stick in your throat as you try to wash the coagulated blood off your hands in a gasoline polluted puddle. The track is long, reaching for the 12 minute mark and takes well deserved time to build and expand. Heroin and Your Veins implements surf and avant-garde into the mix, giving the whole a very versatile and living sound. Different moods are built slowly, with loving care only to be torn down by frantic guitar chases making the dramatic curve optimal.

The record consists of four aptly named segments, building a certain theme around each part. “Midnight Music” is the more up tempo introduction whereas for example “Death Sits Down” is slow and broody. Intensity rises towards the end just to be brought down in the last track “The Gutter”. After all, this is noir; no one is supposed to win in the end. The listener is kept on the edge throughout the listening experience and Heroin and Your Veins deserves extra credit in this sense, and also for not underestimating his audience.

The Kafka quote found on H&YV’s homepage describes well the moods of Nausea: “You are free and that is why you are lost”. The characters depicted on Nausea are so lost; they have no touch with reality, making their lives a swirling cauldron of fear and deception.

Nausea is highly recommended for friends of earlier mentioned Badalamenti and the likes of Boris & Der Club of Gore, but certain post-rock vibes are detected when Godspeed You! Black Emperor or the Finnish Magyar Posse springs to mind. Heroin still stands on its own strong legs with a killer sense for drama and suspense. Something too often neglected in music.

9½ / 10