Maria Ja Marsialaiset - Pysy Hereilla album review

Experimental antics from Finnish garage rock polymaths

cover art for Maria Ja Marsialaiset PYSY HEREILLÄ

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The spooky basement jams of Finnish psych-doom troubadours Seremonia have been a consistent thrill, and their frontwoman Noora Federley brings some of that cryptic, timewarped eccentricity to Maria Ja Marsialaiset’s gloriously loose and cool debut. But all four of the women here have varied musical histories across the Finnish alt/experimental/garage rock scenes, as well as a tasteful set of quirky, seldom-heard influences that lend Pysy Hereillä (‘Stay Awake’) a beguilingly exotic quality. The eight pointed, infectious songs on this 27-minute LP weave together wisps of ragged glam stomp, Finnish boogie, stoner doom and punk. There’s a first-take spontaneity to the performances and a nice warm heft to the production, but the vocals are something else altogether. Comprising impassioned blues wails, eerie harmonies, throaty rock snarls and declamatory passages of storytelling, the powerful, unrestrained all-Finnish singing nudges this album towards greatness.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.