Mustat Kalsarit: Yö
HIKI-069, Hiljaiset Levyt/Joteskii Groteskii, 2021
Release date: 27.8.2021
En tahdo astua pimeyteen
Yö tulee kotiin
A letter to the future fans of Mustat Kalsarit from Juuso Paaso:
You folks in distant regions might not know anything about our weird little band from Finland that has their new album out on tape in the US. The language is incomprehensible, the music is quite rough around the edges, and it doesn’t really fit in an easy format.
We play DIY rock music and have been going on for quite a long time, during which we have put out one early tape, two 7”’s, and finally an LP - ”Juhlat” (”A party”) - three years ago (or is it four already?). So we work quite slowly. Also, people in the band have changed over the years. I have been the only constant member since I write the songs. I’m not a rock’n’roll dude. The first 10 years I spent in groups, we played intensely free music and I was a bit embarrassed by the few songs I had secretly written. But when I started playing rock music around 2009, we often played the first song I had ever written, ”Maailma” (”World”). It’s a song I wrote in my bedroom when I was 19 years old and living in a rotten house in central Amsterdam, trying to take in the wildness of the world. It was a story about a one-sided love affair that got some fans when we finally recorded it on our first EP in 2011. At that time, we were only learning to play this simple music - maybe that’s why it sounds so honest and nice.
As the years passed, people went their different ways. We were not young to start with - I was 30 when the band began - and often people find out that playing wobbly rock music to a few funny faces in any scrubby hole around a big country is not what they want to dedicate their lives to. That’s quite understandable. But then some people do, and I guess over time you learn how that works. So finally there’s the quartet that plays now. Minna switched from guitar to bass. She is also the boss of Hulda Huima, where my guitar serves her songs, so we are quite used to making it work together. Samuli is an old friend, originally a countryside punk and a wizard of oblique melodies and pleasant stumbling on the beat. Drums are his main instrument - his style resembles breathing while eating. We played as a trio before Jukka joined on keyboards. It’s perfect. He’s done so much cool music and is such a big-hearted fellow. You should check out his Big Time EP on his own Pulla Oy label, it’s one of the best things to come out in Finland last year. Adding keyboards to the band felt like returning to our roots, since originally Samuli Kytö was playing them.
So here we finally are with this second LP. It’s called ”Yö”, which means ”Night”. It’s really nice to finally have it out; there’s been a lot of fussing, even though the songs are simple and we thought to take it easy and record it by ourselves on a Tascam 4 track. The album was in limbo until I asked Joar Sandling to mix it in his forest home in northern Sweden. We first met Joar some years ago when Hulda Huima and Myttys were playing in a Luleå squat at a gig he organized (Juuso and Minna play in Hulda Huima and Samuli is half of Myttys). Joar is amazing. He won’t stop until everyone is happy with what they hear.
Maybe I should briefly try to describe all the songs. First is ”Puhu musta” (either ”Talk about me” or ”Talk, darkness”), a slow fuzzed-out rocker with one complaining about surrounding darkness and brick walls but still kinda happy about having the other to cheer him up, even if she sounds slightly bored with his constant lamentations and bad jokes. Then we have the upbeat ”En tahdo astua pimeyteen” (”I don’t want to enter the night”), which is about being afraid of the dark while someone is telling you that you shouldn’t be and promises to teach you how to control it.
”Hevibiisi” (”A Heavy Song”) reminds Jukka of early Iron Maiden and the lyrics are a bit hard to understand, but maybe they are about going back to your dusty origins and feeling like your head is going to explode if you can’t escape from there. ”Elää vaan” (”To live on”) is in a way a tribute to Mana Mana, one of the great slow rock bands from Finland. It is also about everything falling apart, yet you still are not willing to give up.
On Side B, ”Harmaata massaa” (”Grey Pulp”) is kinda groovy - it has the rhythm of walking. It is about sitting down and not knowing where to go, until you get up, walk around, and hope to finally see the light, but in the end everything is just formless grey matter.
It gets a bit nicer with the punk-poppy ”Yö tulee kotiin” (”The night comes home”), where the night gets home after a long day, sits down in the corner chair, and starts looking after us. When we sleep, it hears all our best stuff - that’s why the day loves us. In ”Uimaan” (”Swimming”), we go swimming, since it’s been a long and heavy day. Something went bad, but one doesn’t want the other to know about it, and in the end it’s kind of alright.
"Great modern day garage-psych."
- Clean Nice Quiet
Jukka Herva - Keyboards
Minna-Kaisa Kallinen - Bass, Vocals
Juuso Paaso - Guitar, Vocals
Samuli Tanner - Drums
Otto Eskelinen - Flute, Mellotron ("Puu")
Raimo Sinnemäki - Trumpet ("Nokka")
Mixing: Joar Sandling
Mastering: Samuli Tanner
Artwork: Amanda Vähämäki
Layout: Ben Van Howe