Slack Bird

Terveet Kädet, Fuck The Facts and Vene were playing to a large crowd at this same venue the day before. Based on the small amount of saturday's attendees I'm assuming that Oulu-punks decided to skip this event, stay home and treat their hangovers. I might've stayed home, too, if I hadn't completely forgotten about friday's gig and thus missed it. Mistakes happen.

The first band started almost an hour late due to a birthday celebration Ykä' was housing earlier changed the schedule, but no matter. Slack Bird is a one-man country/folk-project of Arrestum's drummer. Vocals, acoustic guitar and occasional moments of mouth harp served as the tools of creation for the band's hopeful and slightly melancholic music.

Playing acoustic music as the opener for a hc&crust-punk evening wasn't the most grateful place for the skillfully crafted tunes. The more intensive songs worked decently, but the quieter ones were mostly drowned in the audience's drunken chatter. Even so, Slack Bird's warm music had an even daring amount of variation from intensity to calmness and was overall so well played for a one-man band that I bought its first and only (and still fresh, actually) tape. I'm yet to hear how the music works in a recorded form.

This was my second time witnessing the crusty hc-band Antiklimax, and I'm pleased to say that this time around they sounded better and performed more aggressively - athough not excessively so. The female shouts could've been spat out with more hostility and rage, as even though the hc-songs' variation from sludgy bits to grindcore-neighbourhoods kept things interesting, the final wow-factor was missing. I would've bought the band's debut tape if it had been available, though. Extra kudos must be given to the drummer for his zappy and intensive performance.

Arrestum was the evening's sole band I knew nothing about before their gig. They play metallic crust with very skilled instrumentation, topped with guitar-solos and gruff vocals a'la Japanese punk-traditions. The band performed well, but I would've needed to have heard the band in a recorded form prior to the gig to properly enjoy the songs. As a final note I must compliment the band's vocalist who ran and jumped around constantly, and plain provided a great show-element to the gig. I didn't get a lot out of his vocals, though, which I partly blame on their low volume level.

I think this evening was my fourth time seeing Tuhkaus live, so I knew what to expect; a mixture of crust and hardcore, with some moments of d-beat. The band sounded surprisingly bassy and (relatively) clean this time, which, after the initial surprise, I found fitting to the band's simplistic and rhythmic compositions. Veikki's harsh shrieks sounded as piercing as ever, and his dramatic way of performing is always interesting to watch. This wasn't the best or tightest Tuhkaus-gig I've seen, but the surprising soundscape easily saved it for me - as did the set list, which had pretty much all of my favourite Tuhkaus-tunes. I recommend you to check out their EP.