TEEMU AND THE DEATHBLOWS – KEEP IT IN THE DARK (Svart Records)
Exploding onto the scene after releasing just a few self recorded songs on the internet, Teemu and the Deathblows are set to release their debut album Keep it in the Dark digitally on December 8, and on vinyl in January via Svart Records. True to the vintage spirit of the band, The Deathblows’ album is recorded on an eight track machine and mastered on tape to give their sound a garage-y vibe. The full length album includes the previously released digital singles plus all-new material.
When self-titled opener “Keep it in the Dark” begins, the vintage recording style becomes quite clear. A chill vibe and cool grooves embody the track, making it perfect music to relax to. “Girl” picks up the tempo a bit, giving us a track that sounds like true old-school rock ‘n’ roll.
“I Want You” kicks off with a nice punchy beat and the bass jumps in with some killer groove. The bass on this track is pretty great, and the guitar is solid. It’s a pretty danceable track. “In The Sun” is much the same, so much so, in fact, that I had to check to see if there was actually another track playing. The two just flow really well into each other.
With the way the band leans so heavily on vintage and with a name like “Blue Moon”, you’d almost expect this to be a cover of the classic 1934 tune, but that isn’t the case here. Instead, it’s a somewhat fast paced old school rock jam that sounds like surf rock in a few parts. “Monkeys” is far different from any track before it, slowing the pace back down to a chill level, almost sounding like a ballad but with more groove. “Heat of the Moment” is a toe-tapper if there ever was one. This one sounds like that chill relaxing music they play over the PA systems in malls or department stores. The energy is turned up with “I’m the Kidd”, a track that hits a bit harder than the others on the album while keeping with the previously established cool vibe of the album.
“Novocaine” begins with a cool beat and keeps it up throughout the track, with a short catchy instrumental jam coming in between verses and on the bridge. “Hooked” is everything that is right with this album, a faster-paced danceable track which is actually complimented by the simplistic production. This energy flows into the closing track “Romeo” which may just feature the heaviest beats on the album – the drums are on point. Such a high energy jam is a wonderful way to end this album.
Keep it in the Dark is old-school in its heart and soul. The vintage, simplistic production methods occasionally make the vocals a bit harder to hear, which is a disappointment in that frontman Teemu has a very unique voice, but also really makes the fun instrumental pieces pop. The whole thing sounds like a great early 60’s jam fest that makes you want to get out of your seat and move around. If you’re into old-school sounds with a new twist, you definitely need to pick this one up.
Final score: 4 out of 5 axes
1. Keep it in the Dark
3. I Want You
4. In The Sun
5. Blue Moon
7. Heat of the Moment
8. I’m the Kidd
Teemu Mononen – vocals & guitar
Niko Kotsalo – guitar
Matias Koskimies – drums
Markus Lindén – bass
Written by Mitch Ellerbrock for Bloodrock Media on December 6, 2017