Esko Jarvela Epic Male Band
Esko Jarvela Epic Male Band (Sibelius Academy Folk Music Recordings, 2013)
To get a little more information on the Esko Jarvela Epic Male Band, I dropped by their website and found the following self-description: “Imagine if Bill Monroe took a trip to Scandinavia and met AC/DC. From poles apart these worlds collide, smashed together by the explosive Finnish Folk Rock Pulverizers who call themselves Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band, led by the notorious Nordic fiddler and composer Esko Järvelä.”
How could I possible resist such a CD? The Esko Jarvela Epic Male Band’s self-titled, debut recording is available now through download on the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Recordings label and it is truly a kick-ass, twisty, rip-roaring rollercoaster ride into Finland’s progressive/folk/rock scene.
Band members fiddler Esko Jarvela, electric guitarist Jani Kivela, acoustic guitarist Anssi Salminen, drummer Janne Mathlin and bassist Juho Kivivouri of the Epic Male Band cut loose with a sound that comes across as part Southern rock, part folk and part bluegrass. Possessed by razor sharp instrumentation and a devil-may-care rakishness under a thin veneer of Scandinavian easy openness, the music of the Epic Male Band is savagely satisfying on so many levels. Writing and producing the CD, Mr. Jarvela sends the listener off on an intense, captivating, harrowing road trip that’s well worth the ride.
Listeners should strap in because rocking tracks like slick guitar lick laced ‘Bottom Fellows,’ dedicated to “the coolest hockey club in the world” with some additional help from bagpiper Calum MacCrimmon, and fiery fiddle infused “What Is the Drink of Kings” take the curves at full speed. The Epic Male Band gives the listener a bit of respite on tracks like the sweetly soothing ‘Blue Mountain Polska’ and the edgy coolness of ‘Epic Theme.’ Other goodies include ‘Wunderbaumgartner,’ ‘Sulhoranta’ and the quirky ‘Attention!.’
Esko Jarvela Epic Male Band closes their description with “Like a bag of angry cats with a chainsaw, Epic Male Band is cutting through the crap with the release of their 2013 debut album… Prepare for attack!” I’m not exactly sure why anyone would give a chainsaw to a bag of angry cats, but if that’s what gets the Epic Male Band where they need to go I’m all for it.
Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.