REVIEW: messier – On Malaise


Indie rock isn’t the most common genre you’ll find on review here at Tuonela, so it goes without saying that when an album does pop on our radar, it’s worth checking out. On May 7th, 2021, Finnish MESSIER released their new album via SideOneDummy and we’ve gathered a few thoughts to share on it.

This album is a pretty solid definition of what indie rock has to offer. It holds a steadily mid-tempo pace and focuses on simple melodies accompanied by driven lyrics. Consistency is the name of the game and, though the melodies aren’t as striking as you my find in more vibrant music genres, MESSIER offer exactly what any indie rock lover is looking for: simplicity and style.

The album opens with “Salt Water Flush,” which is immediately one of the bouncier and most fun songs on the album with its catchy melody and melodic harmonized vocals. “Write Between the Lines” continues in a similar manner but isn’t quite as lively, while the title track starts with vocals in the highlight – this particular style of singing is common in indie music, picking a basic tune and singing the lyrics in a choppy style. “Schmaltz,” on the other hand, is a more melodic and slightly darker track with a bit more creative flare in its emotion. Some strum-y guitars begin “Hope,” a very brief track at barely over 2½ minutes, that starts slow but punches up after half a minute, offering some diverse dynamics.

The album has ten tracks yet only clocks in at just over 33 minutes, with nothing lasting longer than 4 minutes. “Comfort on Demand” boasts almost warbling guitars in the intro, while single “Pollyanna” is a bit softer and more emotive. “225” is the album’s ballad before it begins to wind down with “Simon Says,” a punchy track about following others blindly, before concluding with “Begging the Question,” which is one of the roughest-sounding songs on the album and leaves things on a strong note.

While indie music is not something I have even the slightest compulsion to listen to on a personal level, “On Malaise” is nevertheless a bright and sunny album, sure to please fans of the indie rock genre who enjoy bands like WEEZER or BON IVER. While metalheads and rockers may not have their needs fulfilled with this album, those indie rockers of the world should definitely check this out!


  1. Salt Water Flush
  2. Write Between the Lines
  3. On Malaise
  4. Schmaltz
  5. Hope
  6. Comfort on Demand
  7. Pollyanna
  8. 225
  9. Simon Says
  10. Begging the Question


Lauri Huumonen – vocals, guitar
Antti Orajärvi – vocals, bass
Kristian Jokilahti – drums