Punk Bear Goes Pop, Vol. 1: Broken Trend & Negatiiviset Nuoret
Complete with stock photography, because my personal assistant failed to arrive at the scene in time with her camera.
Taking a long hard look at my clock, I arrived almost precisely when Negatiiviset Nuoret were supposed to go on. I was pumped up and ready to break stuff like it’s Woodstock 1999, only to find out the whole gig had been delayed for over an hour, and the opener – some band called Broken Trend making their stage debut – hadn’t even had the chance to start yet. No worries, no hurries off to meet a few mates and have a great time, right?
Though a mate o’ mine called them a skate punk, Broken Trend’s music seemed, at the heart fairly innocuous pop punk in a modern vein (how big a distinction to make between the two is really up to you, I guess). Most such bands (read: unless you’re Bad Religion) I’ve had the misfortune of running into make me feel like I’ve had a few too many – likely due to the endless pursuit of catchiness, uncoiling every vaguely interesting curve, and sacrificing all trace of memorability for a grey mass of inoffensive, tasteless and colourless mass. So you’ll know it’s kind of a big deal when I say that I didn’t hate Broken Trend. In fact, though I’m confident I’ll never press play on any of their records to come, I was very pleasantly surprised by their performance.
Adding a good deal of grit to their song with the energy they spat through the show, and constantly offering guitar flourishes keeping them from falling into the rut of boredom, I did, I’ll begrudgingly admit, find something akin to a smile almost forming on the corner of my mouth. Though I did not enjoy their music in itself, they were undeniably fun, so much in fact, that I suspect Danish blood circulating through their veins. Only that I certainly could have lived without the All Star cover.
The fun Broken Trend offered was doubly appreciated as I could not quite make heads or tails off of Negatiiviset Nuoret. Their music an amalgamation of rap and rock, although lacking any actual musical confluence to hip hop, and the rapping having become mostly punkish singing and their debut single, “Mä Oon Niin Ruma” released in february 2016 the absolute feel good hit of the summer – despite being about being so ugly the midwife had a stroke mid-delivery. The thing is, when they finally did release their album – it proved very inconsistent. And the band had decided to play all the good ones in the beginning (the ones I liked anyways), they also played a new song with embarrassingly bad lyrics (“don’t call me a whore, I don’t have a pussy anymore, don’t call me a whore, I cut it off”). The vocalist kept leaving lines unsung and the band couldn’t play all of their less-than-30-minute-long debut so instead they played some twice.
Good goddamn thing that they were on fire, upping the already high energy-levels. For the blink of an eye that they spent on stage I did definitely have a great time – but I still can’t decide if I enjoyed myself or not. They can’t all be zingers, I guess. I guess the lesson here is, never step out of your comfort zone – at least the entry fee was basically non-existent.