This album has a unique charm about it that I can’t liken to anything else I’ve heard. It’s discs like this that wind up being my long-time favorites 5, 10, 20 years down the line.
First of all, Xysma started out as a death/grindcore band (debut album title: Swarming of the Maggots), as they were a part of that underground scene in their native Finland, but very soon began to evolve into a definitively rock/pop outfit with retro 70’s/psychedelic leanings. Always eccentric in their approach, Xysma threw a major curveball with this CD and for my ears it’s a really fun absolute winner.
“The Shortest Route” kicks off the disc with a nifty riff and relentless drum beat that alternately pounds and grooves. Production here is really cool, as it manages a garage integrity and warmth that is hard to describe. You’ve just got to hear it.
In fact, click on this link check out one of my faves from this disc…”New Gel In Town.” I can just smell the hair pomade (now THERE’s a retro word) listening to this song: It’s got a super hold…it’s not so curled. Man, lyrics like that against a guitar-rock background just crack me up…especially when the singer has such a heavy Finnish accent.
The guitar sound on the aforementioned song and really the whole disc is one of my favorite guitar sounds this side of The Cult’s mighty Electric album. Stripped down, just enough distortion and very melodic. It just blows my mind that they were once at the forefront of the Finnish grindcore movement. Their sense of melody and hook is all over this disc, songs like “Do’n’do,” “We Just Came Inside” and “Millionaire” grooving out of your ancient Jensen speaker cones and somehow planting visions of shadow dancers from 1960’s go-go clubs in your head even if you weren’t even born till after that era.
I dunno, this is another Abysmal disc that just exists in its own universe and it’s hard to really compare it sonically to anything else. Listen to “New Gel In Town” on the link above. If you dig that piece, you’ll probably dig this whole retro pie.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5