Skeleton Hellraisers – Brutal Mojo (CD)
A bit of a taster. It's a four track-CD "only" and a bit of a mistery to me. First I have no clue what the band is, where they are going and what this band is all about and wether there is a future in them. Sure, the four tracks deliver but leave you wanting for more. The CD clocks in at just a tad over twelve minutes. My first name is Sherlock and thus I pieced this vital information together:
Archie Hämäläinen (Doctor's Order and Lockdown Docs): Guitar
Mike Rintasaari (Jolly B Goode): Vocals and drums
Vellu Hyötyläinen (Lockdown Docs): Bass
I know that Archie has been playing in quite a few other bands as well, so this is by no means a full CV. With Mike Rintasaari I'm a bit on thin ice, there's a Mikko Rintasaari who played drums in Jolly B Goode. So, there's a connection and I feel, I'm on solid ground. However, I do see a Mikko Rintasaari on guitar throughout the internet. No idea wether this is the same guy or just a match on the name. Vellu Hyötyläinen, I'm pretty sure he has worked the circuit also for a long time, but I didn't make any progress in tracing his steps.That is, because either his name is differently spelled at times, the information doesn't exist or I just have to dig deeper (and learn the Finnish language in the process).
Still, funny to see how it goes all in circles, everyone knows every other person in the Finnish music scene. Of course, all four bands mentioned are not a million miles musically apart from each other. I'll not put any band up on the table for dissection, suffice to say there are slight variations in style between all of them, probably the least Lockdown Docs vs. Skeleton Hellraisers. But that'd be counting beans.
Skeleton Hellraisers tag their brand as "Brutal Rock'n'Roll". Yes, you can do that if you want a unique selling point. To me this is rather truthful and heartfelt Rock'n'Roll with a calming touch, safe in the knowledge that not everything and everyone on this planet has gone bonkers. You can feel at home, safely within your own four walls. Three out of four tracks are original compositions and that usually is a winner for me. A band coming up with something new gets my attention immediately. Nothing wrong with a good cover version but the interesting part is where they show off in the true sense of the word.
Mike Rinasaari is the sole singer here and he does a commendable job and his drumming is certainly supporting the whole structure and he does it with aplomb. Trios are, of course, the smallest Big Band possible, but also the most unforgiving as each member is under a magnifying glass and errors exponentiate at lightning speed. I've read interviews with trios where they actually mentioned, that sometimes they would like to play in larger groups, because every now and then you just have to hide.
The sound is good and dirty enough to give the tag "Brutal Rock'n'Roll" credibility. Interesting (to me at least), the twelve minutes feel like three minutes at the outset. Vellu Hyötyläinen on bass does an excellent job as well. Especially when I watch a bass player live or on video, sooner or later the question comes up, how can he/she keep time (same goes for the drummer as well, obviously)? I guess it's interplay with drummer and bassist that allows for a few detours during a set. And Archie Hämäläinen at his usual best, driving guitar and fine form. I've heard stories of Archie playing saxophone. Nudge, nudge! Can we expect something along those lines on a future outing?
For a copy of this CD, direct your browser to http://www.blues-shop.fi/kauppa/ (translation button at upper right hand side). If you want to send the band a message, check out https://skeletonhellraiser.wixsite.com/skeletonhellraisers?fbclid=IwAR0-n7DTrUIpidNm5czQnepcRqTkF6Yu1SAXfZxbwSxw53IgMF26TkzW0ZM