Jeff's Staff Pick: May 4, 2023

What’s up Sorry Staters?

Kinda hard to believe we’re already approaching the end of this week. After this past weekend, my work week was kind of a blur. I had such a blast hanging out in Virginia all weekend. Firstly, in Norfolk on Friday night where Public Acid played with Lethal Means, Spore, and a bunch of other cool bands. Personally, I would’ve gone just to eat those fries at the venue! Then just hanging out all day in Richmond with the homies on Saturday was so awesome. The show on Sunday in Richmond was so killer. I knew to expect Sirkka to be good, but damn, they DESTROYED. So stoked I got to see them and hang out. But then I had to drive thru the night on Sunday and return to work Monday morning. Totally worth being tired for the all the good times. Now I’m ready to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a margarita or 7.

It’s weird… Every week when time comes around to crank out our little sections for the newsletter, I often feel like I’m scrambling to find a record to talk about. But this time around, I was ready. I’ve been obsessed with this new LP by Tiikeri. I’m pretty sure “Tiikeri” translates to Tiger in English? The band is from Finland, and upon first glance, I assumed this record was a reissue. The flat black & white, haphazard collage-style graphic design looks like a classic record on Propaganda or something. The record even comes with this booklet that looks like a an old cut & paste zine. Then finding out this record is brand new in the year 2023 kinda blew my mind.

Even before the LPs arrived, I streamed Punk Rock Pamaus!!! on bandcamp like I usually do with new releases that we know are due to arrive at the shop. I found myself just sitting there and listening to the entire record. It was just immediately infectious. Maybe I was expecting a ripping Finnish hardcore record, but instead it sounds like Tiikeri is going for that hyper-melodic KBD style Finnish punk from the late 70s. If I were to strip away the visual presentation and understated production, the songs are so saccharine and hyper-melodic that it almost borders on straight up pop punk. In fact, if this record sounded or looked any different, I might even hate it. Usually, when bands write songs that go for the throat in terms of sweet, catchy songwriting, they totally miss the mark. I’m usually instantly turned off. But with Tiikeri, the songs are so good and the overall package is so well put together that I can’t help but just love it. The band also clearly has a sense of humor and lays heavy into some silliness and poking fun at themselves.

Before the first track on the record even starts, the singer shouts, “Okay! Let’s PUNK!!” to kick the whole thing off. It’s hilarious. The record is smattered with cartoon doodles of tigers and cupid’s arrows poking through hearts with circle-A’s on them. The lock groove at the end of side B has the band just chanting “PUNK!” over and over. Oh, and of course there’s also the paper & pencil game on the back cover with an illustration of a bald punker and step-by-step numbered dots so that you can draw on your own mohawk. Everything about this record: the tunes, the lighthearted attitude, the silly yet somehow still cool and uncorny artwork… It all just makes me smile. This record is designed to lift your spirits and put you in a good mood. If you like punk and are able to suspend your bummer over-serious attitude or sense of irony, then let Tiikeri into your life.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got in the tank this round. As always, thanks for reading.

‘Til next week,


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