Trios once dominated the rock landscape. These included the likes of Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Rush, the Police and Nirvana. Many more bands could be considered trios if you take away their lead vocalist (i.e. the Who and Led Zeppelin).
Now in the 21st century, the duo has become a popular setup for musicians thanks to the likes of the Black Keys and the White Stripes. However, it seems a gaggle of pasty Scandinavians are determined to buck this musical trend and have brought back the format of the power trio. They are known simply as Mojo Waves. Mojo Waves officially formed in 2011 in their hometown of Vaanta, Finland, which is a half hour away from the Finish capital of Helsinki. The group is consists of Arttu Kantola on guitar, Jusso Leinonen on bass and Mikko Matikka on drums.
Coming out of the thriving Finish metal scene in with a love of classic rock, Mojo Waves’ live gigs attracted the attention of Helsinki based label, Penguin Macaroni music and led to the trio being signed to the label and putting out their 2013 debut album, “Lo and Behold!”
Two years on from their debut, Mojo Waves is back with their sophomore effort, All the Right Parts Fit the Wrong Way”, which was released in early May of this year. With two albums under their belt, the trio is still sticking to their mantra “reviving rock music one gig at a time,” a motto that appears on their Bandcamp page.
Mojo Waves’ second album seems to maintain the same level of energy that they exhibit at their live shows and has a strong, supersonic sound reminiscent of a jetliner flying overhead, likely influenced by the trio’s upbringing near one of Finland’s biggest airport hubs in their hometown.
“7x7” opens the album with a sound that is very much MC5 meets the B-52’s as Kantola provides flamboyant, wailing vocals over a wah-wah guitar solo and a surf rock beat. “Heartquake” has a long, fast intro riff followed by high harmonies and guttural, black metal vocals typical of Scandinavian metal.
“Counting Backwards” tricks listeners into thinking its contemporary indie music until Kantola provides shrieking vocals that give this track a vibe reminiscent of Motley Crue-esque glam metal. “In Little Pieces” channels the blues-influenced hard rock of early Rush albums and “Days” ends the album on a high note with some melodic guitar playing and a killer rhythm section.
The term “swag” is a popular buzzword amongst millennials right now. However, after listening to this album, many will think to themselves “Who needs swag when you’ve got Mojo.”
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