Sydän Sydän - Au

15 songs
48:27 minutes
***** ***
Nordic Notes


It must be the cold weather and the strange language, or how can you explain why Finnish bands often sound so weird? Sydän Sydän are archetypical for their country, and even though their album Au is now released on a German label, the whole cover artwork is still in their native language, their homepage doesn’t work and you have to be satisfied with the little information you can grab from their label’s website.

After a nine second intro, the album begins with Kissa Sa Hiiri, with heavy grooving guitars, stomping bass lines and schizophrenic vocals that remind of Primus and Mr Bungle. Very colourful music indeed! The following Hai is more melodic but apart from that still adheres to the general mid-Nineties crossover sound that may not be overly original, but still feels rather unique as few bands nowadays practice this genre.

Au takes most of its charm from the smart bass lines that perfectly underline the rhythm guitar, and the vocals have enough variety to keep you interested for the entire running time of nearly fifty minutes. On a Finnish musical map, they would be somewhere between 22 Pistepirkko and Waltari, although closer to the latter ones, even if Sydän Sydän are less metal. Repeated listening will let the album grow on you, and once you come to really like it, it’s hard to get it out of your player. If you can live with the fact that this band has nearly no web presence (do they even have a Myspace account?) and sings in Finnish (which I think sounds rather charming), then you should check them out and enjoy their colourful crossover sound. It’s been eight years now since their musical godfathers, Primus and Mr Bungle, released their last relevant material. Au will send you back to those glorious times.

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