IKINÄ was formed in the southeastern Finnish city of Kouvola, with a remarkable combination of heavy/death/thrash/progressive/djent metal, alternative, punk, and pop adding to the melting pot that outlines the style of the band. The band was founded by two singers, Katariina Sorsa and Tuuli Paju, as well as the latter’s brother, drummer Santeri Paju, and were later joined by guitarist Samuli Suokas and bassist Lauri Hämäläinen who also occasionally sings. IKINÄ released their second album, the long-titled “Millenniaalin itsehoito-opas epävarmaan aikuisuuteen” [The Millenial’s Self-Help Guide to Uncertain Adulthood] in winter 2019, so we felt it was necessary to check up this follow-up, released again by Sakara Records.
The band definitely raised the bar with this second album and have matured since their debut, “Samoista soluista,” At first glance, you have a feeling that it is just an ordinary album where songs are put together to make the album as a whole. Since they sing in their own language and the Finnish language is not native to me, I made an effort to translate the lyrics to get a feel of what they are singing about. Listening again and again, I noticed that all of the lyrics on the album circle around this same theme: typical problems, struggles, and thoughts of today’s generation. We can easily call it a concept album. Even the album cover, with the letter Y in front of a curtain (representing generation Y, or the millennials) easily represents the hidden self-image that each person has.
“Senkin Millenniaali” is the opening and lead song for the album. The song starts with the great powerful riff, a progressive/alternative blend with supporting vocals until the female duo starts to sing and lead the song into IKINÄ‘s style. Changing from melodic clear singing, pop, punk, and growling styles with progressive fills to change the tempo and feel in the song, the opening song somewhat defines the sound and style that can be expected throughout the album. Continuing into the second song, “En tullu pysähtyy,” a more djent-orientated but powerful track with a melodic sing-along chorus, featuring a fitness music video as it becomes part of their balanced life routine and can be the perfect workout track.
“Viinalaulu” turns into punk-pop with a nice hard-core twist toward the end of the song. Through the first three songs, the listener has already experienced a wide array of styles that band has combined and continues to surprise us with what they can come up with. “Lässyä tarinaa” and “Tulisilla hiilillä” are both less aggressive but still heavy, touching on themes of love, falling in and out thereof.
Diversity of singing styles, in my opinion, is well done in “Maailmannapa,” starting with growls and hardcore melodies that escalate to and change the melodic chorus. “Ei oo helppoo” starts in a pop/punk style; it reminds me of softer songs by Paramore and toward the end, changes into a faster tempo. “Ttu mun elämä on jees” brings progressive touch in the intro, followed with a trademark melodic chorus; as far as I understood, this song talks about the cruelty of social media and building your self-image around it.
The song “Koneiston rataissa” starts with an interesting thrash/death-djent style with a touch of oriental feel in the intro and, like usual, follows with a melodic chorus with singing stiles changing from melodic clear singing to growls. The album finishes with the djent ballad “Paljaana” that talks about commitment, and alongside the female vocalists, bassist Lauri Hämäläinen sings an independent part that adds another layer of feel to the song.
Overall the whole album sheds light on today’s generation’s life battles regarding anxiety, social ills, and love and relationships. The band tries to describe all the struggles, problems, and obstacles of adulthood, making it easy for every one of us to find something relatable in the music. Likewise, IKINÄ seems to have figured out how to blend and mix different styles. It seems as if it comes naturally and these changes from one style to another become the band’s own unique style. I believe they made a great package with interesting music styles where, not only can you enjoy the lyrics, but also enjoy the passages and changing styles with different tempos while the vocalists complement and exchange parts, making the songs even more interesting. The energetic songs and singalong choruses are perfect if you like live music as well. Even if you don’t understand Finnish, the music still portrays the emotion and power in these uplifting songs.
Written by Bear Wiseman
- Senkin milleniaali
- En tullu pysähtyy
- Lässya tarinaa
- Tulisilla hiilillä
- Ei oo helppoo
- Ttu mun elämä on jees
- Koneiston rataissa
Katariina Sorsa – vocals
Tuuli Paju – vocals
Santteri Paju – drums
Lauri Hämäläinen – bass
Samuli Suokas – guitars
Interview with messier — “There’s only three of us, so we have to make it count and get the sound as big as we can.”