Its been some time since I have listened to music out of Finland. When I was younger back in the early to mid 80’s, I religiously cranked out tunes from veteran punk bands like Rattus and Terveet Kadet through my car stereo speakers. I had everything they ever released. Fast forward nearly 30 years and like an unexpected kick in the reproductive organs, Finland’s Oldschool Union unleashes some of the most blistering lightning-laced old school fury to ravage my senses.
Oldschool Union claim to be the first oldschool EBM out of Finland. Most of us were introduced to Oldschool Union with “Perkele” from the amazing 4CD compilation ‘Old School Electrology’ (The Beast Box) that showcased many old school inspired acts. Maybe others heard “Too Mellow For Me” off the ‘Hymns For Sex’ CD compilation. Good luck finding 2009’s 10 track album ‘Vanha Koulu’. Fortunately for the masses we can purchase ‘Älä Ole, Elä!’ CD just about anywhere.
Most of the lyrics are in Finnish. From what I have uncovered, the lyrical themes range from politics to personal.
“This Line Will Not Break” and “Bodyfest” make up the English language portion of “Älä Ole,Elä!”. Both tracks have a nice aggressive feel with memorable chanted choruses and peppy beats that remind me of 2 Nitzer Ebb classic albums ‘That Total Age’ and ‘Belief’.
“Känniman” or the remix of “Känniman” would probably be the first tracks I would play for someone that has not been exposed to Oldschool Union. A powerful explosion sound that makes a statement weaving fury, aggression and raw pounding basslines together.
The entire album offers no filler. You have the speedy 2 minute onslaught of “Oire” and a slower track called “Mikä Riivaa” without the shouted vocal style that is consistent with this release. There is no let down anywhere on the disc. You will discover a few worthy remixes. Spark!’s remix of “Älä Ole, Elä!” adds a different feel with some different sounds layered in to make a nice treat to end the album.
From start to completion you get quality with EK Product’s stamp on it. Fans of Container 90, NTRSN, Tech Nomader, Darkmen and T.W.A.T. will definitely enjoy this. I can’t help but to wonder if you look in a mirror and say “Känniman” five times that Tony Todd or better yet, Oldschool Union will appear in your home? Probably not, so go out and treat yourself to a healthy dose of aggression packaged perfectly into a CD.