Architecture in Helsinki (AiH) would be a really bad name for a book.
Therfore it is probably the stupidest name for a band I have ever heard.
Especially a band from Australia, where there is no excuse of a poor translation or something.
This is the first time the automatic recommendations from Last.fm have paid off for me. I’ve tried a lot of bands from that list, most of them can best be described as a bit… meh (‘Panic! At the Disco’ being the biggest offender… *shudder*).
But in this case the system has struck gold.
I think the best way to describe AiH is as a cross between Arcade Fire and the Fiery Furnaces. (But a good, first EP Fiery Furnaces, not the head up their own rectum, nonsensical, purposefully out of tune, bleepy and incomprehensible albums two and three Fiery Furnaces.)
There are eight members of AiH, each bringing with them a bus load of instrumentation. This includes a huge dollop of lovely brass, which is used to mass effect. Along with the more usual weapons of rock, and the fact that all eight sing at some point, this potentially chaotic mix of sounds are all melded together to produce a gloriously warm and friendly sound.
They pull off a lot of the same tricks as Arcade Fire in making tracks that get better and better the further in you go.
The thinking when listening to their tunes goes something like this:
- 0m:30s “Hmmm yeah this is nice…”
- 1m:00s “Oooh yeah this is really good…”
- 1m:30s “Wow it’s really kicking in now…”
- 2m:00s “More, more, more!”
Those of you who are familiar with the works of Arcade Fire (most of you I would imagine) will know what I’m talking about.
In Case We Die is the octects second album, and of the 13 tracks on the album, five have already been awarded a coveted five star rating on my iPod. ‘Nevereverdid’ and ‘The Cemetry’ being among the best examples of their work.
AiH embody a lot of what I’m currently liking in a lot new music at the moment.
It’s bloody happy!
It’s music purely for music’s sake.
It’s not some miserable bastard using music to express how crap his life his, it’s pure, unadulterated, nonsensical happy music!
And AiH excel at it!
Bands to Watch
We recently went to see the much under rated Dead 60’s play in Manchester. The Dead 60’s were superb, playing a really tight set of their ska and dub tinged brand of rock – a good time was had by all.
They were supported by a band called The Rifles, who were very encouraging – so encouraging I bought their single on the way out.
Repeated Offender is a super bouncy poppy little ditty. It’s got tinges of the Arctic Monkeys, but a bit more southern. Does that make sense? They’re being produced by Ian Broudie who’s done some good stuff with the Zutons and the like, so I’m looking forward to hearing more form them.
Apparently the single broke the top 30, buggered if I’d heard it before, but I’m still interested to see what else thay come up with.
The song featured, Generator, is a really infectious sunny tune. About being happy, getting a generator and a record player, and feeling happy.
Another one to watch.
And here are a few of the bands currently on my Recently Added play list:
- Mystery Jets – dangerously looking to fall into the meh section
- The Rakes – Lots of energy and noise, will get repeated plays
- Secret Machines – definitely has potential, definitely needs more listening.
- Sigur Ros – Not sure why it’s taken so long, but I’m finally taking them for a test drive