Amidst a pile of semi-recent releases, “Hangoverdose” by BLOWTORCH caught my ear. I’m always up for a good hard rock record and the particularly soulful style of this Finnish ensemble struck a cord. Indeed, there’s much more to this album than just partying and booze, even though the whole album does seem drenched in hard liquor. You can raise a glass to that while you press play on this one. The album was released on 21 February 2020 through Inverse Records.
Since they formed back in 2013, BLOWTORCH has been through many changes. The release of three EPs was accompanied by the gradual departure of the band’s original members, except for bassist Tero Korkeakoski, leading BLOWTORCH to stop performing in 2018. Much to fans’ glee, they are now back from the dead* with full-length debut, “Hangoverdose.”
(* You can take that quite literally, because – fun fact – during their last gig in 2018 the band’s backdrop was symbolically put into a coffin and solemnly carried off stage.)
First single “Celebrate My Suicide” proved to be a hit, marking an incredibly fast comeback for the band. The rock ‘n’ roll is strong in this one, with straight-to-the-point kind of riffs that bring the power. You are sure to find yourself singing along to the harmonious chorus. Even though the next track, titled “Asses on Shoulders,” did remarkable things with my imagination, I must admit this is one of the most memorable songs on the album. The catchy main melody and raucous vocals by both Tero Korkeakoski and Niko Laaksonen boast so much energy that you’ll have to hold on to your hat (or face mask, in line with the coronavirus rules).
If you like fast guitar work with lots of solos to play air guitar to, this is a record you’ll want to check out. There are times the band’s style hints towards punk rock, like in “Leathers,” which fits the general picture well. This type of stylistic variety brings depth to the tracks’ instrumentation, while the vocals are a constant, recognizable factor that hold everything neatly together. The atmospherical opening to “Voidbearer” also shows BLOWTORCH from a slightly different angle before bursting into raw, powerful hard rock again.
BLOWTORCH really do live up to their name, bringing a raging fire of passion to the stage. First impressions welcome you to the party and turn this record into an invitation to get ridiculously drunk. However, don’t make the mistake of not taking this band seriously, because they are back and stronger than ever with a new line-up going straight for the win. The album has humor, variation, and a certain kind of explosive energy. I can guarantee the hangover afterwards will be totally worth it.
Written by Jana De Boeck
- Natural Porn Killers
- Celebrate My Suicide
- Asses On Shoulders
- Weekend Warriors
- Unborn Son Of Armageddon
Niko Laaksonen – Vocals, guitar
Eetu Kauhanen – Lead guitar
Tero Korkeakoski – Whiskey-bass, vocals
Juhis Anttonen – Drums