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Posted February 28, 2007 by Mike Mineo in Features
 
 

The Latest From Finland: Husky Rescue

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While artists from countries such as Sweden and Japan have seen a surprising amount of Western success in the past few years, several other countries continue to fly under the radar despite producing great music. An ideal example would be Finland. Last year, they graced us with the fantastic Magenta Skycode, a band that released on extraordinary debut that ended up being my eleventh favorite album of 2006. The vibrant atmospheric elements that Magenta Skycode created were unlike anything else released that year, making me wonder if other bands from Sweden were similar in quality. In fact, the history of music in Finland is not so different from the United States. Suomirock (Finnish rock music) emerged in the 1950s as a replica of popular Western acts. In the late 1960s, a band named Blues Section established “The Beatles of Finland”, being the first Finnish band to attract true international attention and sales. Punk rose in 1977, with artists such as Pelle Miljoona and Eppu Normaali making large impacts. The 80s, like the United States, saw a trend of glam and synth use, with Dingo and Hanoi Rocks being notable artists. The 90s brought on a variety of several genres such as electronica, art-rock, and of course, alternative rock. Artists such as HIM and The Rasmus saw notable international success though they never grew to be household names. At the moment, just like the United States, Finland’s music scene is a melting pot of different genres. Electronica and dance have been a prominent factor since Darude emerged as Finland’s most popular producer in 2000 and Finnish metal continues to recieve a growing fan base, with artists such as Children of Bodom and Charon establishing outer success.

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Husky Rescue are from Finland’s largest city and capital, Helsinki. The five-piece was formed in 2002 by bassist Marko Nyberg with a solo career in mind. He went on to record their entire debut album, Country Falls, in 2004 with the aid of more than twenty other musicians. This included future vocalist Reeta-Leena Korhola, who aided her soft and docile vocals on several tracks. Country Falls was a laid-back atmospheric trip using a variety of synths and Western elements. While none of the songs were overly phenomenal, the album as a whole was crafted genuinely with Nyberg’s emphasis on film, photography and painting. Even with the collaborative efforts, Nyberg still considered it a solo project when the album released in 2004. When it saw a release in the United States in the spring of 2005, Nyberg realized that he needed to make an impact on a live stage. In order to do so, he finally recruited a full band to officially accompany. Along with vocalist Reeta-Leena Korhola, new additions included guitarist Miika Colliander, keyboardist Ville Riippa, and drummer Anssi Sopanen. After building up a slight Western following, the five musicians went into the studio and recorded Huskey Rescue’s second album, Ghost Is Not Real. The effort is certainly more accessible than the ambiently powerful Country Falls, with Korhola’s vocals providing a more immediate effect through direct pop, especially in the leading “Nightless Night”. The transition in sound is quite surprising but very enjoyable. Korhola breezily flows through a constant bass line and quick guitar chords, crafting a strong melody that represents a strong single well. On a more atmospheric note, “Blueberry Tree Part II” calls on a slight Eastern influence through it’s interweaving of keys, synths, and sampled percussion. Korhola once again proves that her elegant vocals can flow gracefully over a charming melody. “Hurricane (Don’t Come Knocking)” is simply captivating, slowly transitioning from the soothing lullaby-like voice of Korhola to an instrumentation of several warm synth pads and a repetitive guitar. While Ghost Is Not Real is a step in a different direction for Husky Rescue, it turns out to be a rewarding one with a variety of both catchy and atmospherically engaging tracks. Husky Rescue also released an entirely instrumental version of the album, which is worth checking out for the interesting sample use. The single for “Nightless Night” provides three additional remixes, with the most enjoyable being the incorporation of retro synths by Lack Grass.

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Husky Rescue – Nightless Night

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/husky-nig.mp3]

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Husky Rescue – Blueberry Tree Part II

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/husky-blu2.mp3]

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Husky Rescue – Hurricane (Don’t Come Knocking)

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/husky-hur2.mp3]

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Mike Mineo

 
I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].