Record of the Week: Pohjasakka: Kidutusta Ja Pelkoa 12"

Pohjasakka: Kidutusta Ja Pelkoa 12" (Finnish HC) The archival label Finnish HC brings us this 5-song scorcher from Pohjasakka. Pohjasakka’s 1985 7”, Maailma Täynnä Vihaa, is a ripping record, as good a Finnish hardcore punk record as you’ll find and a definitive example of everything I love about that country’s 80s hardcore scene. Pohjasakka recorded the five tracks on Kidutusta Ja Pelkoa a year later, in 1986, intending them as their second EP, but that record never came out during the band’s original run (credit to Usman’s staff pick from last week for teaching me all this). While I would have loved another EP in the style of Maailma Täynnä Vihaa, Pohjasakka’s style is a little different on these tracks. They’re less gnarly and less hardcore, moving the focus from aggro to melody. Ordinarily this would be a bad thing for any hardcore band as a turn toward a (slightly) more melodic style usually comes with a loss of intensity, but Pohjasakka keeps things as intense as ever, but with even stronger and more memorable songs. These tracks are more in the vein of Toxic Reasons or UK Subs, but played with the intensity of the Partisans at their most scorching, and faster than all those. Man, this record is so fucking good! It sounds great, the performance is blistering, the songwriting is top-notch, and there isn’t an ounce of fat on the whole thing. Sometimes I wonder if anything will hit me as hard as the stuff I heard in my youth, and then I hear something like this, and I realize how much I still love hardcore punk.

Note: This stream is from an earlier cassette reissue of this material. The vinyl sounds even better.

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