In this unusual year of 2020 the Finnish “borgarcore” band Bob Malmström are celebrating their tenth anniversary. In addition to popping champagne and blowing out candles they chose to commemorate the occasion by releasing a series of three split 7″ vinyl records.
In the first of those, Sälj Åland, they teamed up with the long-running Finnish melodic hardcore band The Enchained (whose history extends back to 1997). Bob Malmström‘s side of the split included two tracks, and in January we premiered the band’s video for the title song.
Two months after that first split, the band released the second one with Tvärnitad from Sweden (which we’ll comment on below, since we failed to do so in April), and now the time has come for the third split to be revealed, on the eve of its June 10 release. This latest split includes the music of the Finnish black ‘n’ crust band Dispyt (whose ranks include Mathias Lillmåns of Finntroll and …and Oceans fame), in addition to Bob Malmström‘s own contributions.
On the A-side of this new split Bob Malmström (as they say) “shoots it straight with ‘Helsingfors borgarmangel‘ featuring Jonas Ekroos delivering an epic d-beat pummeling with a sense of -83 Metallica being present”. The song will indeed give you a d-beat pummeling, along with explosive drum fills, hurtling bass lines, and fiery, anthemic riffing. It’s a super-charged rush, but includes bursts of hammering groove as well as absolutely scorching, blood-spraying vocals. It’s explosive enough to wake the dead, and to light a fire in the bloodstreams of the living.
The digital release of Bob Malmström‘s second track, “Låt Pampen Sjunga“, has been postponed, though it will be available on the forthcoming 7” vinyl edition of the split. It too includes a heavy dose of d-beat battering, along with other neck-wrecking rhythms and a spectrum of riffs and leads, which range from brazen punk fanfares to spritely swirling melodies, dancing chords, and classic heavy metal fist-pumpers. The vocals are every bit as incendiary as on the first track, but also include fervent proclamations and vibrant singing. Just like the first track, this genre-bender will get your pulse pounding too.
And now we come to Dispyt‘s songs on the B-side of the split. This is a band with whom Bob Malmström have worked in the past on various tours and gigs, and the connection goes back even further than Dispyt‘s inception in 2016, because Mathias Lillmåns co-produced their albums Punkens framtid (2013) and Vi kommer i krig (2016).
Photo by Sandra Björses
Dispyt kick off their side with “Min Sanna Vän“, a two-and-a-half-minute mauler that’s anchored by brutally heavy, rock-crusher guitars and thunderous bass, propelled by d-beat rhythms and other skull-popping snare beats. The song also includes a seething but palpably bleak guitar part that arrives when the drumming becomes more subdued and the flesh-rending fury of the vocals takes a breather. And yes, the vocals are so unchained and unhinged in their extremity that they shiver the spine.
Dispyt‘s second track, “Svept i Vita Lakan“, which has also been revealed through a music video that we’ve included below, is just as bone-smashing and meat-grinding in its sound as the first track, and equally feral in its energy. But as physically devastating as the song is, it also includes riveting breaks in the tirade when it becomes both more methodically bruising and more emotionally stricken in its mood.
Both songs are great, and they make a fine complement to the Bob Malmström tracks.
As mentioned above, three of the four songs on the new split are being digitally released on June 10th. All four will be available on a vinyl edition that’s available for order now and will be shipped in July. In addition, all three splits will become available in a deluxe wooden box-set edition that will be released later.
STREAM / DOWNLOAD:
Bob Malmström Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0LlX8DkMVI132UeGEASRQK
Bob Malmström Bandcamp: https://bobmalmstrom.bandcamp.com/
Dispyt Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0YfllmFruqwOLKcKgEDm9k
Dispyt Bandcamp: https://dispyt.bandcamp.com/
And now let’s briefly go back to Bob Malmström‘s previously released split with Tvärnitad.
On this split Bob Malmström presents two songs. “Jag älskar att supa” is a skate punk extravaganza that features Anni Lötjönen, who made a meteroric rise with Huora, a new star in the punk/hardcore/metal scenes of Finland. As Bob Malmström accurately say, “Anni‘s outburst of energy provides the track with some turbocharged punk attack”. And the song really is a musical firebrand, one that’s also highly addictive, but it further includes a ringing guitar solo that lends an element of beguiling grandeur to this punk outburst.
Anni Lötjönen – photo by Aleksandra-Majak
The second song, “Större än gud” presents, as the band describe, “a window to Bob Malmström‘s more epic material”. With the lyrics spit like bullets, sung with arms raised, and yelled with riotous energy, the music will give your neck a good workout but continually morphs in unexpected and enthralling ways — which I think I’ll let you discover for yourselves (and yes, it does indeed have an epic finale).
Photo by Magnus Larsen
On the B-side Tvärnitad present four tracks of catchy and straightforward Nordic hardcore punk/metal. Per Bob Malmström: “Tvärnitad has since day one sung about hard drinking, hangovers, addiction and did we mention boozing? This split’s four tracks are about alcohol and related activities”.
All four tracks strike with heavy-caliber power, thanks to a bass tone that vibrates the vertebrae and gut-slugging, neck-cracking drumwork, while the vocals are serious larynx-shredders. The songs also have an emotional potency to match the blast-furnace intensity of the sound, sometimes wild and deranged, sometimes downtrodden and bitter. The songs may be about alcohol and related activities, but these aren’t drunken brawls (okay, maybe a little). Instead they’re damned heavy-hitting and head-hooking, each in its own way.