Jolly Jumpers - Fantom Zone

11 songs
42:19 minutes
***** ***


Old Finnish rockers Jolly Jumpers have been active since 1980, but they have so far displayed a stoic atmosphere, as Fantom Zone is only the eights longplayer of the five-piece. Lately they were busier, because they have released their previous records Hometown Hi-Fi and Mobile Babylon with only two-year breaks in between.

The band has been compared to artists like Dead Moon, Neil Young, Nick Cave, Velvet Underground, Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, which actually makes sense. Jolly Jumpers manage in an incomparably relaxed way to combine indie rock with Americana. Petri Hannus has a quiet yet rough voice that reminds me a at times of Tito Larriva and wouldn’t sound amiss, and it wouldn’t seem out of place to see them performing as a bar band in a Tarantino movie. It’s nearly unbelievable that guitarist Arimatti Jutila used to play with the Flaming Sideburns. Apart from the slightly punk rocking Saturday Nightmare, you shouldn’t expect raucous rock music. Instead you get solemn quite music, as on I’ll Keep To This which shows parallels to Johnny Cash. Fat King Mescaline in another recommendable track, as also the catchy I Feel Power and Yesterday Tomorrow with its hauntingn Western feeling.

There hasn’t been much if any progression since the previous album Mobile Babylon, but you have to acknowledge that Jolly Jumpers perform with an undeniable conviction. Fans of sincere rock music can’t go wrong by getting this beautifully unpretentious album by one of this world’s more ambitious bands.

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