GALLERY: 24.2.2023 Poison Church, Dragsvik, & Maailmanloppu @ Bar Loose


The punk and post-punk scene in Finland is alive and kicking, as we witnessed on Friday, February 24th, 2023, at Bar Loose. The famous Helsinki rock cave hosted a night of three acts: first up were newcomers POISON CHURCH, who were playing their first ever show; the middle slot was reserved for DRAGSVIK, who have been making a name for themselves as one the more politically edgy left-wing bands – think of a Finnish take on MANIC STREET PREACHERS; and last up were the veterans, MAAILMANLOPPU, coming out of a lengthy break from playing shows. No wonder a setting like this had drawn the bunker at Bar Loose almost full.

POISON CHURCH hit the stage with all the energy of a fresh band. The Tampere-based group’s music is an all-out onslaught. The HC-punk influenced package of aggression can’t exactly be called pleasant, but was certainly effective. In fact, the concert itself lasted only a bit over 20 minutes, but they seemed to get a lot done in that short time. There wasn’t a lot of finesse, but on occasion the band displayed an ear for some nice melodies as well – before it was time to bash it out again.

DRAGSVIK, on the other hand, had a much softer post-punk approach. In their songs, the aggression is more in the lyrics that have painted a depression filled picture of modern society. DRAGSVIK are not afraid to use big words or appear borderline naïve in their message, but for a band of their stature, a black-and-white view of the world, backed up with some elevating melodies and energetic rhythms, are the thing. The crowd seemed to know the lyrics and DRAGSVIK offered some nice singalong choruses, such as the one in maybe their best-known song, “Katalonia”, which combines end-of-the-world views with some hope growing in the hearts of the righteous.

Last up, MAAILMANLOPPU turned up the aggression once again. The HC veterans have tried out a variety of styles during their active years, but the concert at Bar Loose was more tuned to their faster, more aggressive material. Vocalist Jasse Ruokonen was the focal point of the bands live energy, jumping, running around, and doing a short visit to the middle of the crowd. The band have a groovier side to them too, and the music is not all about playing at full blast. Even though the band have had a break from playing live, it was easy to see that it wouldn’t take too much brushing to get the rust out of their machine.

On the whole, the night at Bar Loose was a nice display of different aspects of the Finnish punk and post-punk scene.

Poison Church