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Maailmanpyörä Palaa

Tuomari Nurmio & Viides Kolonna

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Album Review

Tuomari Nurmio's sophomore effort, Maailmanpyora Palaa! ("The Ferris Wheel Is on Fire!") was recorded in 1980 with a new band, Viides Kolonna ("Fifth Colony"), and the sound is both wilder and tougher than its predecessor. The opener, "Rion Satamassa" ("In Rio Harbor") comes out of the gates careening and reckless, but tightly in rein. Most of the album has the same feel; the music is bursting at the seams, the rhythms are offbeat and sometimes jarring. There is a feel of both nervous energy and joy in making music that hasn't been done before. The snotty "Huda! Huda!" and the chugging "Sunnuntaina" ("On Sunday") are good examples of the stop-start energy of the songs which, despite the apparent chaos of sound, remain either anthemic or melodic, and always hummable. Nurmio is lyrically incisive and witty, his storytelling ranging from stories of the loss of cultural identity in "Moskovan Maailmanrodeo 2070" ("The Moscow World Rodeo, 2070") to Russia-Finland trade relations in the darkly humorous "Sheldnukov ja Sadirnjak" ("Sheldnukov and Sadirnjak") — two men cross the border to Finland to purchase old men's magazines for "bathroom reading," only to end up in Siberian work camps. Nurmio's idiosyncratic voice works alongside the freewheeling violins, guitars, and keyboards as an instrument capable of illuminating the nuances of his sometimes surreal snapshots. In retrospect the record improves on its predecessor on all fronts, but it because the first album came without precedent, Maailmanpyora Palaa! doesn't have the same overall historic impact. Many of the songs would later be covered by Sielun Veljet, the seminal post-punk band of the '80s, and released in 2007 on Otteita Tuomari Nurmion Laulukirjasta ("Outtakes from the Song Book of Tuomari Nurmio"). [A remastered edition of Maailmanpyora Palaa! was released in 2003 with three bonus songs.]

Maailmanpyörä Palaa, Tuomari Nurmio & Viides Kolonna
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