Following their breakout success, L'Amourha (1985), this fourth album by Sielun Veljet distills the key elements of their two previous albums into what is arguably the band's finest work. From the beginning beats of "Ajá," the album never releases the listener from its hold. The shamanistic, repetitive elements of the band are still there, but they've been harnessed into a propulsive funk-influenced rock beat that is catchy and infectious. Lyrically, Ismo Alanko is at the peak of his considerable powers, and his titular indictment of individual, corporate, and cultural greed, "Kuka Teki Huorin" (Who Whored Themselves), is both ferocious and accessible. The pace slows down to a crawl on "Kaksin" (Two of Us), and while the sound is desolate and almost despairing, the lyrics are joyful. This juxtaposition of disparate feelings gives the music an added layer that's both rare and precious. Several of these songs were re-recorded in English for the album Shit-Hot (1987), including the title song as "Bitches Brew," "Kansallispäivä" (National Day) as "Nazional Day," and the repetitive and powerful a cappella hit "Säkenöivä Voima" as "Luminous Force." The album had no hits on the level of "Toiset on Luotuja Kulkemaan" from L'Amourha, but it cemented the place of Sielun Veljet in the history of Finnish rock music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by JT Lindroos