"Sinister Vibes"

By Professor Jocko

There’s an undeniable fact that todays’ music industry says that you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want to. The 80’s was flooded with many different types of metal; the 90’s saw the birth of a now-faded grunge scene, and the 2000’s have spawned many gutless musical acts from rap to dance or any other sub-genre which sound more like a Mentos candy commercial than anything of significant musical merit. There are many bands these days that are starting to come full circle to a style which gets down to the roots of what inspired them in the beginning of their passion for music, and Finland’s newest act, Hard Action has accomplished that with their debut album titled Sinister Vibes.

I must say that this album start swith a very energetic sound that arouses your audio senses with a track called "Dead Dogs" with a fast, blues-based rhythm. However, it maintains a comfortable speed that doesn’t get ahead of itself which allows the guitars to be heard with space to breathe, allowing the lyrics to flow smoothly behind it without any blatant distortions. This is the pace that follows through the next several tracks in which every member of the band is allowed to showcase his individual talents.

Although Hard Action isn’t the first band to incorporate a throwback style, rooted in 1970’s punk and hard rock styles, they embrace many certain qualities that are unique in certain respects. These qualities are expressed in a track called "Night Moves", which has a retro feel that breaks up the monotony of the album.  This is in no way a nod to Bob Seger, yet does have something about it that is played with the same heart that goes into the writing. I must admit that I’m not much of a fan of the vocals in its entirety, mainly because of the limited range, but vocalist Gyntsä Kivioja comes across with a punk style that fits with the chord progressions and various rhythms that hold it all together. The track called "Hey You" really captures the elements that propelled early British punk rock, before it became a commercial oddity and burned itself out. Perhaps the pinnacle of the album comes towards the end with the last few tracks that pick up on the guitar leads that break beyond the mold of punk rock styles. A track called "Gunpoint" picks up on solo influences that are more reminiscent of the 80’s hard rock scene of Judas Priest and AC/DC where the arrangement and delivery are concerned.