Somewhere along the approximate trajectory of Integrity’s convincing mastery of gallup-beat hardcore with Guitar World magazine quality solo action dressed in hoody-and-trainers thrash vis-a-vis Systems Overload and the monolithic riffage of Souls at Zero era Neurosis lies the album Harhakuvat by the Finnish band, Unkind. In some alternate dimension, this might have been the record writer and social critic John Berger might have made had he grown up in the 80’s in Finland listening to Discharge. Released by Relapse records, Harhakuvat combines pummeling syncopated mic-in-fist vocals–language barrier not withstanding, the style of music has never been known for clearly annunciated verses or tonal choruses—and though they seamlessly adopt many of the genre’s cliches, Unkind displays an uncanny authenticity.
I have no idea what they are saying. Instead, I can only intuit their unbridled passion. Making music to rail against things like corruption, injustice and disappointment in not just THE system but any system is paramount. The disruption that this music creates in the listener is immediate, visceral and poignant. Not unlike a poem by Nazim Hikmet; painting by Francis Bacon or film by Werner Herzog Harhakuvat sets a new precedent for revolutionary music. Czech band LVMEN’s watershed album Mondo or Japanese hardcore band Envy’s Insomniac Doze are comparable achievements in the hardcore-around-the-globe category. I don’t get paid for these and if I did the pay wouldn’t be enough to buy a Tecate tall boy anyway.
Though the review is nostalgic, hyperbolic, and filled with ridiculously obscure references and five-dollar-words, Harhakuvat will be on constant rotation in the cube, iPod, car etc.
Please tour the US soon. Maybe with Fucked Up.
Here is a cut from Harhakuvat: