Has anyone checked on Finland lately? Something terrible has happened! Maybe something wonderful! The land that once gave us such artists Tasavallen Presidentti and Jukka Tolonen is once again exploding musical myths, such as how many guitars you need in a band and how much coffee is too much. How many guitars do you need? One? Two? Three? How about five, like the infamous Blue Oyster Cult who prided themselves on at least one song which had five guitar playing ducks lined up on stage? Well, in a fit of Finnish pride, Teksti_TV_666 sometimes lines up six. And when they do, it has to be like one of those tuba playing fests where 100 or so tubas blanket the town square for Christmas carols or marching band music. Oompa's all around, eh?
These guys prefer to storm the stage with guitars and amps, sawmilling their way through outlandish pieces of surf tunes, buzzsawing their way through bits of metal, thrashing their way through a plethora of proto-punk (don't ask me what that is, I just read it somewhere), post-punk, modern post-punk, and punkety-punk-punk, for all I know. The sound is dense, the music intense and the feel ranges from rocking to uplifting to downright oppressive.
It has taken me awhile to absorb what they are doing, probably due to the way it was recorded. At first, I thought they might have blown the session all to hell, the sound dense enough to drown a person on a foggy day, the vocals subjugated and guitars on overdrive, but multiple listens have me realizing that they meant to do it. They wanted a wall of sound. They wanted to bowl people over. They wanted people to dance and go crazy and immerse themselves in the moment. It is their thing... their charm, even if it is Maxell man crazy. And at moments it truly is, five guitars wailing, a couple sounding like screeching cats in an odd avant-garde way. But it is cool. There is a pulse and it gets beneath your skin. Sometimes you feel like shaking and sometimes you feel like dancing and sometimes you just want to line up and bang your head. Yes. It is way cool.
Makes me wonder what else Finland has to offer. Gary Heffern was born there and is presently on the frozen tundra. He talks about the cold a lot. Maybe headbanging is a way to stay alive. Maybe the lengthy days and beyond-freezing nights make you a little crazy. To listen to Teksti, you might well think so. Think of it. Minus-degree temperatures at night, a Quonset hut and a hundred of your best friends and enemies awaiting the coming onslaught. You know those shots of bands and dancing crowd in a steamy environment you see all the time? You don't need dry ice or smoke machines to get that effect in Finland. Just plop Teksti in there and let the crowd go. It will get plenty steamy in no time.
And, in case you're interested, their latest album is titled 1,2,3.