7.12.2019 Poison Whisky @Semifinal, Helsinki


When a musician such as Lemmy Kilmister passes away, it creates a certain kind of void in the world of music. Fortunately, instead of grieving, there are bands that want to continue carrying his legacy in their own music. One band that delivers the essence of hardcore rock ’n roll with the right attitude is the Finnish-German POISON WHISKY. The band itself may be only a few years old, but the roots of the members have influenced the Finnish music scene already for three decades. I didn’t have to hesitate when an album release party for their second album “Enter the Meatgrinder” was scheduled at Semifinal.

The showtime was relatively early for a Saturday evening, but people seemed to have found their way to the venue as it was quite packed. POISON WHISKY was precise with their starting time and it started to roll with the only single release for “Enter the Meatgrinder”, “Ain’t Lookin’ for Löve”. The band certainly expressed the title of the song. POISON WHISKY wasn’t about doing any fancy tricks and stayed as straightforward as their music is. For me, that is one of the strongest areas of the band, especially in a world where everyone’s trying to hard create something that stands out. Sometimes keeping it simple delivers the message much better.

POISON WHISKY managed to fit quite many songs in their one-hour setlist, probably with the help of many of the songs being in the punk-attituded length of 2-3 minutes. They have been productive by releasing two albums in two years, and the band could already pick a nice variety of songs from both of their albums. Even if the lyrics don’t usually let much room for guessing what they’re about, it was nice to hear Taneli Jarva introduce some of the songs and the inspiration behind them. Such as telling about the division between people in the current world where the only common point seems to be the tattoos that we wear.

It is always beautiful to see how much noise a three-person band creates, and especially in POISON WHISKY’s case, I don’t think they would benefit from any additional elements in their music. Even if the styles of the songs aren’t differing that much, each piece of their music stands up on its own. You can see that the guys weren’t playing their first gig, which can in some situations easily translate into a cocky attitude. That, of course, wasn’t the case with POISON WHISKY, they remained humble and seemed to genuinely enjoy people being there and listening to their music. Taneli also made very clear how much they appreciated their small road crew to make the two album release parties happen and be successful.

If you feel that the words hardcore and rock ’n roll make something tingle in your head, POISON WHISKY is a band to check out. If possible, make it in a live situation to get the most out of this greasy and straightforward act. Throw yourself in the (circle) pit and feel the energy flowing from the raw and unforgiving music. Good things are happening in the music scene of Helsinki!


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