Five Fifteen — Psychedelic Singalongs for Stadiums
(Blastic Heaven BHR 3343 2, 1997, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01
Scandinavia continues to be a fertile breeding ground for outstanding musical endeavors and talented musicians. Last issue we brought you The Last James' Kindergarten from Norway. This time we move a few miles to the east, to Finland, and an equally talented six-piece operating along the hard-rock / psychedelic axis, a 90s sound with plenty of retro tendencies. This is their third full-length CD, the follow-up to 1995's Armageddon Jam Session Number Four, and also marks the band's tenth year together. Again, their sound draws from numerous influences: hard rock, psych, blues, space rock, funk, but all from within superb compositions featuring plenty of changes and fresh ideas. With their combination of male / female vocals and plentiful harmonies, their use of acoustic guitar and piano, and an outwardly rockin' attitude, they are by no means the fragile and pusillanimous 'proggy' prog band with the pretty synth washes and delicate ambience; sure, they do use Mellotron and Hammond, plenty of meter changes, even ethnic drums and sitars, but they do it without any pretense. In fact I am more than occasionally reminded of their countrymen, the late great Kingston Wall. There are many standout tracks herein, "Waterfall (Second Coming)," "A Riddle Joker," "Hanuman Dance," and "Emotional Playground," but perhaps the most memorable tune is "Wayward Children, Cannonballs and Skydogs," of which a remixed and shortened radio edit version is included as a bonus track. Maybe it's not for everyone, but if you're bored with the seemingly endless recapitulation of well used ideas and the same old tired and worn-out clichés, Five Fifteen may provide the necessary change that rekindles the fire. Definitely a contender for this writer's best of '97 list.
Related artist(s): Five Fifteen
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