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Punaisen Kuningattaren Periaate - Kaksi Suuntaa CD (album) cover

KAKSI SUUNTAA

Punaisen Kuningattaren Periaate

 

Crossover Prog

3.96 | 6 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yesterday I was rather negative about the debut album of this Finnish band (suggested into the database by myself), so I don't want to delay this one with much more positive feelings. In three years time the band has matured crucially, but probably the most important thing is the change of the vocalist. In the end Veera P. perhaps isn't radically worse than an average young female singer in the more commercial wing of the Finnish pop scene, IMHO she just didn't quite fit into the music of PKP. Mokka Laitinen is a wonderful discovery for the band. Not only she's a talented vocalist with the skill to follow the music into psychedelically & surreally flavoured depths (which, I believe, rather thin-voiced Veera would have lacked completely), she also has a distinctive, dark-toned, "smoky" colour in her voice that charms in its own right plus fits perfectly to the band's overall sound.

The steep difference between the vocalists makes it somewhat difficult to estimate how notably the musical style has really changed. No, I am willing to believe that in 2012 PKP was anxiously searching for its style and the result turned out to sound, more than anything else, painfully restless. The sax was too busy thickening the crowded sound and the wrong singer emphasized the sense of noisy pop. And anyway, why on earth would any rock band need nine members? Well, there are eight of them here, but the production is way better this time, there's no feeling of an overcrowded arrangement. The reeds and accordion are being dosed reasonably, and vibraphone (not too often heard in rock) is never a bad thing.

When there's a certain softer and hazier side to the sound, also the intense moments work more effectively. The individual songs feel very dynamic. My least fave track is 'Musta koira' (= Black dog) featuring a chorus too heavy for my taste. Couple of distorted vocal lines in the title track are slightly hideous but justified in the anguished narrative context. Songs like 'Elisabeth' and 'Punainen lanka' go under one's skin.

The album's atmosphere is mostly melancholic and slightly sort of psychedelic as in bands like PAATOS and PORCUPINE TREE. The cover drawing is perhaps a bit too naive, as if from a children's book (except for the skeleton of course), to accompany the music perfectly, but then again it underlines the unpredictable, dream-like world hidden in songs. The band's name meaning The Red Queen Principle is taken from the surreal fairytale world of Lewis Carroll. Maybe the language barrier loses a big part of PKP's appeal for non-Finnsh listeners, but I sincerely hope this band will continue making their unique slice of today's progressive/art rock.

Matti | 4/5 |

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