I don’t know about everyone but, these days it seem to be a weird situation in hardcore and maybe even music in general, with kids buying less records, but picking merch and downloading all instead, not even buying record they like from digital stores. I don’t know if i’m somehow old fashioned or what, but specially inside hardcore realm, i’ve always concidered one of the most important things to support bands which you like, help them out by buying their music and merchandise, cause in many cases they’ve paid everything for themselves and put all their money and passion into their music. Other thing that i value a lot, is to know your roots. Reason and history, where they came from, who was there before you and specially the bands, that paved the way for you, your friends, your local scene, your bands and of course, the whole hardcore movement, worldwide. Don’t know if it’s my interest into history in general, but what i’m trying to say here is that, “know your roots” and “practice what you preach”, i think it’s very important to know where you come from and show respect to those before you. That said, you can probably sense how excited i am to unravel yet another chapter of my hometown,Turku’s legacy in our fine Finnish hardcore scene.
Some might remember my post about older Turku hardcore band, TKU Blindside and their demo; From The Streets Of… back in 2007. Known also as TBS, TKU Blindside’s history extends back into 1999 and they went on from there through ups and downs, until late 2002, when the band stopped to play and remained in low profile, but never really quit. But as there might be (should be!), more interested parties, than only me on about;who they were, what they did and what they came out to be, i’ll be capping here together the history of TKU Blinside and their discography, with help of their guitarist / vocalist, Jukka filling in the gaps for me on the history of his band, all that i was not aware about. You might have guessed it, but there is even more important reason on why i’m writing this post, the unreleased TKU Blinside LP.
But let’s go back to the start at first, as i mentioned TBS started already back in mid summer, 1999. Jukka, Pekka and Jussi (who was known from Today’s Waste, xJuryx and also later from Hate Unit and Kieltolaki) had talked with each other about starting a band, to play something in vein of Integrity, but as you will come to hear, it didn’t really sound anything like that. After this they had Mikey to take on vocals and Janne to handle the guitar. This first line-up was originally working under different name and this band started to rehearse around 1999-2000. Name, TKU Blindside, was decided in 2000, as they had to alter the line up after Jussi quit the band, because it just didn’t work out somehow and they took Aba to handle the second guitar, so Janne switched into bass to replace Jussi. They played also their first shows with this original TKU Blindside line-up of Mike -vocs, Jukka -guitar/vocs, Aba -guitar, Janne -bass, Pekka -drums, in spring 2000 at local venue called Sadis. In late summer of 2000, TBS entered Red Five studios to record From The Streets Of… -demo tape, tracking five songs of which four ended up to the demo. Demo tape was released in Jan/Feb of 2001 and it was sold as strictly a tape version. They played shows with the original line up until March of 2001, when Janne stepped aside from bass and after couple tryouts, TBS found Raitanen into bass.
“When it came time to record the demo, we already had couple songs, that ended out on the LP. But one reason to record the demo was to document the start of our time with TKU Blindside and it came out to be what it came out.” -Jukka
From The Streets Of… -Demo brought down some real Turku style hardcore, showing off their influences from bands such as; Blood For Blood, Sheer Terror, Breakdown, Madball and alike. Fallen Right From The Start, starts off the demo, it displays nicely their double styled, Mike’s and Jukka’s vocals, use of background vocals and doubling is present strong, throughout their discography, very well placed. Their brand of hardcore is also well presented here, it’s no bullshit taking heavy hardcore, that’s got quite a lot similar sound with two first Blood For Blood albums; Spit My Last Breath and Revenge On Society. Second song, Watch You Fall -hits up the pace and bursts out the anger once again with venomous rants like; “Your reign of PC-terror across the land, no one can knock me from where i stand” and here you can again hear how cool it’s to have to vocalists with different styles working together perfectly. Watch You Fall -might be more familiar song to someone, cause we used to cover it with Ill Omen, around when our S/T 7″ came out and we did also a record release covers for our 7″ from the TBS From The Streets Of…’s cover-art. I Will Prevail and No Matter What It Takes, are the two final songs of the demo and they continue well in same vein of TBS’s heavy, straightforward, yet not very metal influenced hardcore, that doesn’t lack any groove either. With really good sounding demo like this it was no wonder that they had been in interests of Helsinki based, now days pretty much legendary Finnish hardcore label, Full House Records, for some time already, they had been talking about doing a full-length record.
The band had some problems to work out their rehearsal routines, but still managed to carry on and even the recording of full-length seemed to be in one point very unlikely, they still carried on and got themselves set, ready to hit studio. In august 2002, TBS headed to Sonic Pump Studios to track the full-length album and they laid down 12 songs, of which 10 ended on the master of the lp. It was also sort of means to an end to TKU Blindside, even the band was really excited about the record and everything, it seemed again very unlikely that the release would happen. Mostly due outside distractions, they decided not to release the record. So it ended up that they just didn’t do anything after the decision was made not to put out the record, still same time, no one really wanted to quit the band or anything. They were real good friends and end of TKU Blindside came really from those distractions outside band, work arrangements and life in general.
“We reserved the studio for LP to the end of August, so that when Pekka comes back to Turku on Saturday or Sunday. So we’d have time from there on around a week or so, to get everything trained properly and written ready. This time studio was paying a bit more, so we didn’t have any time to play.
Of all the songs that ended on the LP, we had ready around 5 and 2, almost. That time it was also hot as hell. Some of our guys was working and some, who had time to spare, laid on the beach or something for the day thinking about how things should work out. Then at all night long, we’d play only wearing boxer shorts and all the coolers screming like hell.” -Jukka
Fast forward couple years, into 2003, around winter ’03-’04, TBS started wondering again, if the record should finally be released. They talked about making a complete release on their discography, package including the demo, unreleased lp, extra tracks and live covers. But even they had the package pretty much ready together, it just again got forgotten somewhere and the release didn’t ever happen.
Now it’s been couple years already since 2004 and here we are, talking about the band and their unreleased record, that i’ve heard many to praise as the best Finnish hardcore record, that never got released and more. Thanks to Jukka, Pekka, Janne and Aba, who all i’ve been in contact time to time, during the recent years, seen them and met at shows, talking about TKU Blinside. Finally everyone will have a chance to hear this stuff, as Jukka kindly provided me the master version of TKU Blindside full-length lp some time ago. The Record is untitled, yet it had some name proposals in process, such as; Found A Way -that had something to do with the original cover artwork idea and later when they ment to put it out with the compilation of all their work, there were ideas of name; 3 Year Disease / 3 Year Sickness.
“Like i said, all in all we were a band of friends. We hung out together all of our spare time and our rehearsals often turned out to a 6 or 7 hour sessions, just because it was so fun to hang out together. We always went to shows together, hung out at bars each other’s place all the time.” -Jukka
Untitled LP by TKU Blindside, first i have to say that i originally heard this album couple years back and i have a cd-r copy that contains (most of) the LP and Demo, that Pekka provided me through our mutual friend. This version did not contain any track titles and some of the songs cut short and as Jukka suspected, that it was probably some unmastered, early version of the record. So i was really excited to hear the final version, with tracks titled and lyrics included! There is no artwork, that was finalized or made for the album, Jukka talked about it that there were ideas etc. but nothing really concrete, anyhow i’m sure that the music will speak for itself. Falling Down kicks off the album with crunching heavy riffing, that quickly turns into a bit melodic part, that throws in some speed in the gear and starts off the song for good, you’ll hear very familiar style on vocals, just working better than ever and TKU Blindside is no doubt, sounding overall a lot heavier on their LP. They were definitely getting into another level with such great recording quality on the LP and were going also into great direction with songwriting, more complex riffs and technically, just more everything on the album. Songs like; True Fate, Weak From The Start, Sowing Wind, Cropping Ashes and Closure, deliver just what TKU Blindside’s LP is about, it’s better and harder than ever and most important you can hear that none band in Finland has before and even later delivered so groovy, heavy and streetwise hardcore album that’s similar sounding in this style. Sheer Terror and Blood For Blood (especially Spit My Last Breath) ring true in TBS’s music, but there’s a lot heavier riffing, than either of those bands would do, it’s nothing metallic or nothing beatdown, or whatever, it’s just pure plain punishing Hard Core, nothing else. This album contains 10 tracks, all new material, there’s notes lyrically on material from the demo, and that’s just cool, i like these kind of references and continuing topics / lyrics. I’ve been listening for this album now for many weeks and i have to say that i love it, it’s certainly the hardest album that i’ve heard from a hardcore band, coming out of city of Turku. While the band was around actively for relatively short time, you need to understand that hardcore scene, back then here in Finland, used to be even smaller than now, so you could say that every band counts.
“And this band would have been nothing without these guys. No song would have gotten it’s shape, without the guys who we’re in the band. Playing with this band and those guys, was the greatest thing that i’ve experienced while playing music and it’s pretty fucking unique thing to have. Many have done the same, but i’ve never come across a thing like that again. That’s why i never cared, did anyone like us, it was totally irrelevant, same thing with the LP. Of course positive feedback warmed mind, but the band was the value and the reason, that in the end was the only meaning for me and nothing can make it mean any less.” -Jukka
To end this, what can i say, it’s a real damn shame that things went for how they went with TBS, causing them to enter hiatus and forget the release of this album, because it certainly is one of the best records i’ve heard from Turku city band, but for a Finnish band as well. There hasn’t been actually many other bands, who would have delivered this style of hardcore in Finland, so TKU Blindside really stands out of the Finnish hardcore crowd, them not being as metallic as many others, they should appeal very well into traditional hardcore’s fans. As for where these guys are today;
Jukka played guitar with Helsinki’s finest, Down My Throat (first band he played in after TBS, if i’m correct) and is doing guitar/vocals for heavy hitters, Become A Threat and of course doing guitar in BOLT.
Pekka played drums in Finnish straight edge juggernaut, Security Threat and after they quit, provided his skills to use of Endstand.
Janne played guitar in The Stakeout, Knife Edge and Avoimen Haudan Löyhkä and is currently working with new Turku city band, Broken Ribs.
Mikey had also a metallic hardcore band in vein of H800-styled vegan metal / hardcore, called Equity on which he sung for and played guitar.
Aba has been playing in Turku’s melodic punkrock band The Phoenix Foundation right from their start and is still doing his thing on guitar with those guys.
All links are directed to Soundcloud pages, from where you can also download all the albums, but i’ve included complete package with all TBS material below.
Thanks a lot for all the members of TBS and their close friends, most particulary; Jukka,xPekkax, Aba, Jan and xOllix ((Pekka’s brother) for tattoos and general random stories about the band and the guys, usually something totally unrelated info, haha), for being an inspiration and huge help in compiling together TBS’s material and information of the band. Last but certainly not the least, thanks to the whole TKU Blindside crew, for letting me post their LP and being all cool about it! This is for you, TURKU and like TBS said it best themselves;
“Representin’ Turku Style – You don’t know, what you’re up against!”.