ELÄKELÄISET - Humppasheikkailu

Eläkeläiset - Humppasheikkailu

18 songs
71:47 minutes
***** ***
Nordic Notes


It shouldn’t be necessary to introduce the Finnish fun makers Eläkeläiset, as it’s been now nearly twenty years since this side-project of the punk band Kumikameli became a regular band that has been defacing hits from the last four decades by turning them into their unmistakable humppa polka sound. Four long years after Humppa United, they are finally back with a new album, although in 2010 they made headlines after entering the preliminaries of the European Song Contest with a self-released track. Unfortunately they only came in third, but the boring winner dropped out already after the first round.

The band seems to have given up on writing own songs as they did some time back in the past, and this time they are making fun of eighteen more or less popular songs. The entry point into this thirteenth album was not easy an easy one, as The Troggs, HIM, Mirel Wagner and Battle Beast are rather unknown to me. This isn’t overly dramatic though, as these songs can also entertain, even when not under the influence. No matter if you like it chaotic, fast, folky or even melancholic, the fun factor is always enormous. Up next are tracks by Skid Row, The Dandy Warhols and Robert Palmer, all of them in the charts some/many years ago, and therefore instantly more recognisable. They even cover Fools Garden’s Lemon Tree, probably one of the worst number-one songs of all times, and brave this atrociously awful song with an incredibly laconic touch. Two songs by The Bravery and Linkin Park were unknown to me, but the Pixies’ Monkey Gone To Heaven lifts the mood instantaneously. Even Rihanna is being covered, which should be a testimony to band’s wide array of influences. And then there follows a triple hammer pack for every self-respecting rock fan. Alice Cooper’s Under My Wheels is my favourite track on the CD, but their take on King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King is even more courageous. Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell is despite the circus atmosphere a wonderful tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio. Finally there come tracks by Ace Frehley and The Breeders, before Hüsker Dü’s smash hit Diane ends the album… which then runs on for an unnecessary twenty-three empty minutes…

Eläkeläiset have long since given up being innovative, but they still manage to surprise sometimes with their choice of cover versions. Don’t expect anything new though, and honestly, would anyone even want that? Eläkeläiset’s music is just good, old fun, and there is no other band so adept at creating cheerfulness. Let’s hope that their career will go on for at least another twenty years!

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