Vapauden Tasavalta by Teksti-TV 666Release date: February 24, 2023
Label: Svart Records
There is a kind of unhinged madness to the bizarre cocktail that is Teksti-TV 666. Built loosely upon old 70s krautrock foundations, Vapauden Tasavalta sees this Finnish horde veer off into electro pop, cutesy psychedelia, and hipster indie as is they have always belonged together. It’s not like they haven’t been doing this on every release to date, but this time around they have upped the dosage of everything to silly levels.
Half way through opening track ‘Kapteeni’, doubts begin to creep in as to whether this is even the right band. There seems to be little relation to anything previous, as we are bombarded with reverb-drenched ska-boy vocals over jaunty jangly guitars. Then out of nowhere it veers drastically kosmische: metronomic 4/4 beats, hypnotic power chord riffs, lush space-age synths. So maybe this is the correct place after all…
At times, Vapauden Tasavalta can be hugely fun, bouncing pop melodies joyously flirting with frantic motorik beats: ‘Ilmainen Pizza’ rattles along with an infectious energy, drawing in lots of influences whilst still able to mould them into something greater than the sum of its parts. Yet equally Teksti-TV 666 can be disappointingly disjointed, styles clashing horribly (‘TJ’ being the biggest culprit), or ultimately plain sickly sweet annoyance abides – and with closing track ‘Jeffrey’ falling into that category, it leaves a sour taste in the brain to finish on.
Ultimately, this feels a messy splurge of too many disparate ideas. Vapauden Tasavalta sees the band taking a step backwards from their debut, any momentum gained being immediately shunted aside for the next genre to come racing out of the scattergun. Those tantalising moments when everything clicks shows the potential in Teksti-TV 666, yet exacerbates the frustration as they are bulldozed through once again.