Law, order and brickwall oi!

LAKI & JÄRJESTYS: Kuka lystin kustantaa?

Release year: 2021
Label: Hellstone Records

Finnish oi! has always been something of a rare commodity. The scene itself is small but resilient, but home-grown bands tend to be quite few, and many of them never go beyond demos and the odd single or mini-CD. So whenever a new band pops up, fans of the style are wise to pay attention and get familiar with the band before they disappear into the mists of the cold and deserted backstreets of oi!

Laki & Järjestys are a new band, but the members aren’t greenhorns by any means: its members have earned their chops in bands such as Anal Thunder, Kyre & Duunarit and Rejected, which are credentials enough to raise the expectations. This, their first release, shows that the band have got what it takes.

Going at it the hard way, the band have chosen Finnish for their lyrics, joining the ranks of such cult names of Finnish oi! as Tammerfist and Brewdriver – two prime examples of Finnish bands who haven’t gone beyond demos and singles (though there’s still hope for Brewdriver who’ve not hung up their boots yet). In comparison to those two, Laki & Järjestys have a harder, rougher edge to their sound. The aforementioned two had (have) a strong, snotty punk edge to their sound; Laki & Järjestys, on the other hand, go for a more hard-headed, rough-hewn sound which is more Condemned 84 than, say, Cock Sparrer. Not quite on the neanderthal level of the basest brickwall, there are some rocking and rolling nuances here and there on this 7″.

The experience of the members clearly shines through here in the form of songs that are all, simply put, excellent. They’re hard-hitting and tough as nails, but at the same time have that catchy, anthemic element to them. These are songs you will find yourself singing along to in no time. Which, considering the rather up-front and politically incorrect lyrics, might raise some looks. My absolute favourite in the lyrics department is Kermapersejulkkikset: a no-holds-barred look at the shallow idiocy of modern celebrities.

For sure, the lyrics aren’t the height of punk rock philosophy. Nah, they’re your basic oi! lyrics of havin’ a laugh and havin’ a say: politicians get shafted, social parasites get the finger, and an unashamed patriotic attitude is displayed. Still, the band don’t veer into ideology or politics, except for flipping off everyone turning the country into a shithole – sometimes with turns of phrase which may well offend somebody. Maybe for good reason, most probably not.

In the never-too-numerous discography of Finnish oi!, Kuka lystin kustantaa? is a fine addition. Nobody can say there’s been anywhere close to enough releases by Finnish bands recently, so anything is welcome. And when it’s this good – doubly so.

Let’s just hope the band stick around a while longer and get to a second single, an album and – perhaps most importantly – some gigs once this COVID-19 nastiness blows over. I’m sure a bar full of drunk punks and skins singing along to these tracks will be a sight to see.


Visit Laki & Järjestys on their official website or Facebook

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