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Kalevala - People No Names / Boogie Jungle CD (album) cover




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3.59 | 11 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This low budget release contains the first two albums by the Finnish band Kalevala, as you can see on the cover. By the way the original vinyl of the debut is said to be one of the highest prized collector's item in Finnish rock. I won't review these albums separately so I'll be more detailed than usual this time.

PEOPLE NO NAMES (1972).The title track is the longest one in the whole set (8:55). It starts with lonely acoustic guitar, but already after 30 seconds the vocalist and the band arrive to offer a tight piece of progressive hard rock. Harri Saksala (formerly of APOLLO; eponymous album from 1970) sings very roughly, sounding almost like Captain Beefheart. His original Finnish lyrics were translated by Mats Huldén who did the same for some WIGWAM albums too. Electric guitar is leading the way.

'Where I'm From' is much calmer track, processing for a couple of minutes as a dreamy instrumental featuring guest appearances of Olli Ahvenlahti's piano and Raimo Wallen's flute, before the faster vocal section kicks in to disappear again. 'Waves' and 'Escape from the Storm' are jazz-rock instrumentals, maybe slightly monotonous but quite good ones.

'In the Net' is a return to harder rocking and bluesy expression; here Saksala and the band sound a bit like the rougher side of Frank Robson and TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI. Gritty harmonica solo is played by Saksala. 'My Friend' is another instrumental, similarily tender and piano-oriented as the most of 'Where I'm From' was. 'Lady With the Veil' has deep atmosphere with its whisper-approaching vocals and lots of acoustic guitar, even if the song is rather fast. 'Tamed Indians' seems like a joke, a brief, hilarious and fast instrumental featuring accordion.

BOOGIE JUNGLE (1975). Some line-up changes had occurred: Saksala was replaced by Limousine Leppänen. All lyrics are by WIGWAM's Jim Pembroke who also provides background vocals on four tracks. The opener 'Mind the Fly Hunter' is rooty, bluesy rock'n'roll song, quite uninteresting to me. The second track is even more boring. Also Leppänen's vocals have bluesy roughness but they miss Saksala's strong presence. 'If We Found the Time' is better, calmer song, where the use of vibrato reminds me of FAMILY's Roger Chapman. 'While the Fire's Warm' is a blues-rocker and features WIGWAM's Jukka Gustavson on clavinet.

'Boogie' is a personal bland of fast, jazzy rock'n'roll, hard rock elements and a drum solo. 'Rockin Fish' is another rough, hard rocking song that I have no any interest for. It has become very clear by now that this album is much worse than the debut, at least for a prog listener. Friends of honest rock'n'roll naturally think the other way round. The album's best track is obviously the long, closing instrumental 'Jungle', where especially electric guitar and Moog do some nice things.

The leaflet features credits information, nothing more. Maybe together these albums are worth three stars as I would rate the debut separately too.

Matti | 3/5 |


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