Matti Jasu and the Loose Train - 'Gone to the Dogs'
We introduced you to the world of Matti Jasu and the Loose Train, when they released a couple of pre-album singles before Christmas. We wrote then that we were looking forward to an album release sometime in the New Year from the Finnish band based out of Turku, and here it is - ‘Gone to the Dogs’, and it’s a real pleasure to listen to, and a great antidote to the wet winter nights.
The album opens with one of those singles, ‘What Goes On’, and after a week of listening to some fairly weighty releases, the opening lyrics feel refreshing and fun - ‘Well let me tell you what has happened so far, we’ve been dodging disasters, left right and centre again’. And that probably sums up what you’re going to get from an album of well written, heavily 60’s influenced songs, packed full of 'summery' melodies and which barely registers at all on the ‘Mirel Wagner Scale of Bleakness’ (the official Nordic Music Review measure of darkness and misery in songs…).
The albums continues with a batch of well crafted tracks, the chorus of ‘Race You Down to the Ground’ is typical of the album, with a big build up and a tune that you won’t forget, and whilst it is definitely influenced by bands from 50 years ago, there are vocal comparisons to good current UK indie bands such as Teleman, with simple exposed vocals singing heartfelt melodies. At 6 ½ minutes ‘Slideshow Heartbreak’ is a beast of a song, but you’ll barely notice it, the guitar solo comes early and it has that trademark chorus. ‘I Have to Turn Back On You’ has more intensity, even reminding me instrumentally of ‘The Aliens’, which I like, whilst they end with ‘Eavesdropping’, a simple enough mellow sounding song, but it has heart and character, and I find myself embracing the sound they make.
Whilst at 8 tracks this album might seem a bit light, it never feels that way, each song is of a good length and it’s all really solidly written. I’m not suggesting ground breaking originality here, Matti Jasu and the Loose Train wear their influences proudly on their sleeves and it won’t be for everyone, especially for those scouring the internet looking for the next fresh new sound (Mats Wawa are the band for you guys…). But I love the noise they make, I love the big chorus tunes, the warmth of the tracks and the smile that ‘Gone to the Dogs’ has brought to my face – the Groundhog after all has spoken, and maybe spring is not too far around the corner.
Nordic Music Review 8/10