Finland’s finest distortion dealers return with their fourth album, and those guitars are in full pelt, but Go is not just about the ragged riffery, for this is a record that addresses some very serious issues indeed. Storming recent single ‘Anxiety‘, for instance, begins “Hey, have you heard about the incident that took place here yesterday? / She…she took her own life” and it’s not the only time that the act of suicide is implied, frontman Mikko Kiri later quite rightly rationalising by asking the question “Who are we to judge?”
Musically, really this is a continuation – or perhaps more accurately a development – of the sound that encompassed their 2016 release Death Defying Tricks. There’s no getting away from the fact that ‘Up To The Top‘ sounds like a particularly ferocious Foo Fighters single, and sometimes the band sound like an edgier version of Biffy Clyro or Undercut (remember them?), but happily the band still manage to retain their own identity rather than just milking the udders of rock royalty every now and again.
I doubt whether Varvara would ever claim to be groundbreaking, but with so much importance seemingly being placed upon bands being new and innovative these days, at the expense of any semblance of a tune, it’s kind of nice to hear groups like Varvara, who are clearly just in it for the love of music, and, handily, more than capable of a few killer hooks.
Allegedly, Go “as a whole is about that moment when summer turns into autumn. This reality hits you right in the face reminding that the calm and relaxation of summer is over.” To be fair, I can totally get that feeling from it, but guys, that moment is depressing enough as it is. Do we really need a set of songs to soundtrack my impending misery?
Still, despite all this, it’s not like these songs are a drain on your previously good spirits or anything. If anything, the music within is uplifting rather than head in your hands “How am I going to go on?” style musical downer pills. There’s a very good reason why they have found a fan in Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich and been lavished praise from the likes of Clash magazine and, indeed, us. You have to try to ignore the fact that ‘Warm Engine‘ begins as though Chris Martin wrote it, but if you can block those moments out, Go is another impressive addition to the Varvara catalogue.
Go is out now on Haminian Sounds.