Finland - Full Moon 180 - 05/17/11
Lime Green Delorean
Bone Voyage Recording Company / Playground
Old favourites of mine, the Finnish veteran rockers 22-Pistepirkko are back from the woods with a new album. Lime Green DeLorean is their 12th album, including remix/remake album Zipcode (1996), and soundtrack album Downhill City (1999). They've also released an all-cover album, Monochromeset (2006), under the moniker The Others. If you're all blank and a new-comer, the collection The Nature of 22-Pistepirkko (1985-2002) (2002) is a good starter, spanning 15 years
of their career (even though they started as early as 1980!). So, what'll a new album from these Finns be like, then? The press sheet is quite a teaser: "It's a hotrodded car-rocket to the 5th dimension of the mind, made out of spare parts and oddities, plus a naive faith to mystical mojos. Lime Green Delorean is a vehicle to go to Go-Go joints due to dance, shake, enlighten your immortal soul and talk with Gods. Join the big flow of the beings. KISS stuff!"
22-Pistepirkko (pistepirkko means 'ladybug' in English) was founded by brothers Hannu 'PK' (vocals, guitar) and Asko Keränen (bass, keyboards, etc) and their friend Espe Haverinen (drums, etc) in a small village in Northern Finland (called Utarjärvi) over 30 years ago. A good description of the band is quoted on their home-site: "...like The Clinic in a prescription-only fog, The Kinks in keyboard overload, Primal Scream woozy on moonshine and maracas, a lo-fi Pet Shop Boys whose disco ball has escaped earth orbit, and T. Rex savant Marc Bolan. 22-Pistepirkko are slightly weird, slightly childish, slightly
psychedelic, slightly awkward, slightly rockin', but mostly epic, genius, and supremely Finnish."
22-PP has always been a cool, laidback and sympathetic combo. Lime Green Delorean opens with the dreamy, quiet "Lights By The Highway", which sets the atmosphere perfectly. "Dream 1987" continue the dream thread, and is quite an unusual song to come from 22-PP. Album singles, "UFO Girl" and "Broken Toys" are more traditional 22-PP songs: Catchy, yet odd pop. "Stupid" is a fuzzed, cool-rocking track, with a quite typical 22-PP chorus. They're best swimming the swampy blues rawk pool, while humming their trademark, sugar-coated pop-songs, blended with electronica oddities. It's not that everything they touch turns into gold, but if the world has been a more fair place, 22-PP would have been a more recognized and cherished act. Just like The White Stripes all of a sudden became - using the exact same formula as the one 22-PP had been distilling, refining for years.
Feel-good, 'glimpse-of-sunbeam' songs, "Sunny Days" and "So Happy Today" are two other ones of the catchy highlights, alongside single choice "Broken Toys". "So Happy Today" is pop music as done by the excellent Kiwi-pop bands of the 1980s(/early1990s), like The Bats. The quicker, poppier tracks are balanced neatly with some slower, laidback songs, such as "Sweet Rodeo Heart" and "Find Me". The album's title track closes the album, with the lines from the front cover: "Get your rawhead, dump your warhead / get a comb and sneer your new head / get them to see our outstanding lime green DeLorean...". (Or, with a Finnish accent it's more like: "...lime creen DeLorean"). The synth-ridden, instrumental verse on this one reminds me of New Order. Yes, it's a fact. And, truth is: 22-Pisteprikko sounds like everyone and no-one at the same time, but most of all they sound like themselves. To quote Melody Maker, UK: "Everything 22-Pistepirkko touch turns strangely familiar. It's like a lot... but there's nothing like it."
Lime Green Delorean is probably a homage to the DeLorean DMC-12, a classic, yet somewhat rare sports-car which I guess is a popular vehicle around the Finnish 'outback'. This Irish (!) produced car, with its trademark seagull-winged doors became iconic when used as the time machine in the Back to the Future movie. Lime Green Delorean is also a neat time machine for moving around the musical world of 22-Pistepirkko. Join in. Fasten seat belts. Relax. Enjoy.
Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen