Marko Haavisto & Poutahaukat - Hollolasta Teksasiin

15 songs
53:37 minutes
***** **


Marko Haavisto from Lahti has been a star in his native Finland for quite some time already. Maybe some people know him as an actor and the composer of the soundtrack of the movie The Man Without A Past. If not, his new album Hollolaste Teksasiin is an ideal opportunity to make yourself familiar with him and his band Poutahaukat. After all it’s their first CD to be released in Western and Middle Europe.

Their music aims at a more mature audience with its interesting mix of retro rock, country and Americana. The Finnish lyrics make for an exotic touch. The perfectly made up booklet comes with German translations though. The title track translates into From Hollola to Texas, which emphasises the band’s country influences. Only their earlier hit Paha Vaanii from the aforementioned Oscar nominated movie comes in an English version: Haunted By The Devil.

The album starts with a masterpiece, Tunnelin Suulla, which combines nostalgia and innocence with a slight folk touch. Although the subsequent tracks don’t quite reach this level, Marko Haavisto and his three musicians manage perfectly to match the typical Finnish atmosphere of melancholy and equanimity. Next to their roots side, the band aims at good old rock’n’roll music. Their songs could at times need more energy, but there’s no denying the good workmanship. I could have done without the ballad Vihellys, although it still sounds fresher than for instance Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Although not every song hits bull’s eye, I quite like Marco Haavisto’s unusual approach. Finnish language rock music makes its way too rarely into the west, and it’s good to see that they have more than a booming metal scene where many bands have become quite interchangeable lately.

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