Finland Station – Eastern Bloc Party
Release Date: February 2007
As I’ve stated previously, music is all about emotion. But if a band chooses humor as their main sentiment, they are cast aside. Marginalized, if you will. This is a problem near and dear to my heart. “So, like, I’m supposed to read this ‘review’ with 3 meager song descriptions and sardonic self-loathing? I mean, if the scribe wasn’t so buff, I probably wouldn’t even waste my time.” To all of you who “waste your time” with humor and lighthearted outlooks, allow me to introduce Finland Station.
Eastern Bloc Party is not lacking one-liners or wit. Polarizing topics such as gluttony (“American Fatso”), political disgust (“Worst President Ever”), and… ummm… OK, they are pretty much all about politics. My AP profile (show me some love) states that I am moderately liberal. Sure, why not? I don’t claim to know a ton about how bills become laws or free trade (Chris Martin is down the hall and to your left). But, if I’m going to be force-fed an agenda, at least Finland Station took the time to coat it in a candy shell.
Musically, Finland Station play punk. The music harkens (what a verb) back to when a person only had to like one kind of punk to be a punk. Those with a taste for the old school styles of The Kennedys or Black Flag will have a whole new reason to squeeze into their leather pants again.
Singer Alex Duffy has a voice that’s rough around the edges with a great sense for melodic timing. The hooks on mellow “Death Is Near” and the Americana rock treat “Here Today Gone Away” manage to engage both newcomers and nostalgic punk fans. And the much too short “Let’s Go Chill (With Kim Jong Il)” easily packs crashing snares and sarcastic lyrics into less than a minutes worth of music. Short songs dominate, but never did I feel rushed to digest similar punk anthems “Use War!” or “Smash Your Enemies.” Also, the album is well paced and ,surprisingly, only moderately redundant.
While certain celebrities have made the general public loathe a connection between entertainment and politics, Finland Station do just the opposite. Eastern Bloc Party is a funny way to look at all the crud being thrown at us everyday. Personally, I’d rather listen to a dude in a Mohawk talk about tax reform over a stiff in a tie any day. Henry Rollins in ’08!
Recommended If You Like: Black Flag, The Adverts, "We hold these truths to be self-evident...", X, any president other than Dubya