Friday 1 March 2019

Jupiter - Iosomnia (2019)

Country: Finland
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 11 Feb 2019
Sites: Bandcamp | Facebook

Continuing down a couple of rabbit holes, that of new psychedelic rock and the stunning variety of bands playing out of Finland nowadays, here's, well, a Finnish psychedelic rock band. They're called Jupiter, they've been around since 2010 and they've knocked out three studio albums during that time, this being the newest. Interstellar Chronodive (I love that title) came out in 2015 and Your Eccentric State of Mind was released a year earlier.

The band has remained constant throughout, but they seem to have changed some of their approach in that time, given that Your Eccentric State of Mind had a dozen tracks, only one of them over six minutes and many under three, while this features a mere four tracks that range from eight and a half minutes to just over ten. Frankly they feel so comfortable with song lengths like these that I have to wonder what they sounded like in two or three minute tracks.

My least favourite aspect here is surely the overstretched vocals of Tuukka Vänskä, though I did get somewhat used to them, but I simply adored his work on a guitar that must be made out of liquid space fuzz. This is heavy psych and he's backed by a couple of musicians who clearly love their jazz but love it all the more when it's wild and aggressive. Somewhere in Quantic Being, I heard Vänskä singing about "a sonic eruption" and that's incredibly apt.

It's those other musicians who lead into Abyss Swallowed the Moon, the steady bass of Mikko Toukola exploring enticing new terrain and the drums of Valtteri Louhisola conjuring up all sorts of fascinating sounds around it. Eventually, of course, Vänskä joins in on guitar and we find ourselves striding along the spaceways together in wild style.

I have no idea how much production went into this but it feels like the band just wandered into a studio together and jammed this whole album live, if that could ever generate something that sounds this good. Special kudos to Teemu Vänskä who recorded, mixed and mastered the album. He must have put in a lot of work to make it sound this effortless.

Like many of the predominantly or entirely instrumental albums I've enjoyed of late, this leaps out on a first listen (in this instance immediately because of the glorious way in which the opening track, Forgotten Twin, begins), but demands to be explored. There's a heck of a lot here, from the enticing jazz that kicks off Abyss Swallowed the Moon to the post-black metal blitz at the end of Return to Zero. It's definitely another one for my headphones at three o'clock in the morning.

Beyond Vänskä's vocals, which really don't show up often enough to become an annoyance, there are few steps out of line here and those few are countered by the aggression of his guitar. What Jupiter do best is make a heck of a lot of racket for a trio and in such a deceptively loose manner.

I want to see these guys live, not that that's particularly likely unless I end up pursuing this new obsession of mine all the way to Finland. For those new to this, I keep discovering excellent new Finnish bands and none of them sound remotely like each other. Suffice it to say that something wonderful is going on up there in the frozen wastes of the north and Jupiter are another joyous part of it.

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