I have found over time that some music grows better with time. Some music starts mediocre and doesn’t rise much above that, or below for that matter. And there is some music like the new offering from Pennies by the Pound, Heat Death of the Universe‘, that keeps sounding unique and exciting each time I listen to it.
Hailing from Helsinki, Pennies by the Pound was formed in 2016 by Johannes Susitaival as a solo project, but it quickly became a three-piece involving musicians from his past bands.
Vesa Ranta – lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Tomi Laaksonen – bass guitar
Rauli Eskolin – additional keyboards, background vocals on track 6
Alexander Meaney – additional lead guitar on track 5
Kaisa Ranta – additional vocals on tracks 3 and 7, background vocals on track 6.
Musically this is very much a prog-rock album, but it is more than that. It is also a rock album, just rock. It also gets filed under indie rock. It has grinding guitar riffs, soaring synth passages and heavy, heavenly choruses. It touches on punk and post-punk as well. My goodness, this album is a treasure trove full of gold. Johannes Susitaival; “This album is rooted in the fact that I became heavily interested in ’80s Marillion a few years ago, especially the ‘Clutching at Straws‘ LP. You can definitely hear the influence on the record, but there’s a lot of ’80s Rush too, spiced up with contemporary influences like Muse and Radiohead. I love prog and being a good Canuck I will admit that I really like Rush, all the years.
Lyrically, well, I’ll step aside and let Johannes Susitaival you. “Lyrically, there is a loose theme on the album about the way people continue to actually socially distance themselves from others (even without or before the pandemic) due to the influence of social media and maybe the internet in general. The album title is a nod to that, the “heat death of the universe” being the lack of and eventual end of real-life social connections between people,” says Johannes Susitaival.
“As an artist, I’ve always been hesitant to make records that sound the same as the previous ones I’ve done, so the sound keeps evolving,” says Johannes Susitaival. “I wanted to make a record that is borderline ridiculous, in some ways, and definitely not very contemporary. Then again, for the first time in my life, I had a chance to work with a producer, whose work I have admired since the turn of the millennium and this definitely influenced the album and its sound”.
The ‘Heat Death of the Universe‘ album is out as of May 21. It can be obtained directly from the band via Bandcamp and the standard platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
Apple Music https://music.apple.com/us/album/heat-death-of-the-universe/1566872818
‘Indigo Screams’ https://youtu.be/UrOimjY1ZV0
Keep up with Pennies By The Pound
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