Finnish noise rock inspired sludgy hardcore band STOLEN KIDNEYS (est. 2009) have recently dropped an amazing debut full length called “Ruin”. It consist of 7 raw, thick, grim and harsh tracks with lyrical themes dealing with anxiety of our western way of life, growing hate around us and indifference among the human beings, seeking the connection with nature, the moment, present and the self. Recorded by Tom Brooke at Tonehaven studio and mastered by Brad Boatright of Audiosiege, the record is was released in a 100% DIY manner on vinyl/cassette, and it’s my great pleasure to give you its detailed introduction.
“Ruin” by STOLEN KIDNEYS is available in digital, vinyl and tape formats via this location. The band will be hitting European roads in support of this release sometime in the Fall.
STOLEN KIDNEYS was born in 2009, in Oulu, northern Finland. Since those days the band has released couple of EP´s, a split cassette with fellow doomers BOAR and a split 12” with ARSON UNDER THE SEA. During the existence, STOLEN KIDNEYS have played numerous live shows around Finland, Northern Sweden, Baltic countries and done 2 European tours. During the darkest days of 2016 STOLEN KIDNEYS entered Tonehaven Studio to disturb the peace of the Finnish countryside. The outcome of the session is 7 noisy tracks released as their debut album “Ruin” in 2017.
Track by track commentary:
Lone – Ruin starts with the last song we wrote for the record. I think we got the song together just couple of weeks before we went to studio. While we started to work the song, there was a funny coincidence: Jari, our guitarist played the first riff and Antti, our drummer said he was jamming this new, edgy beat just the week before. We tried the riff and the beat together and we noticed they fit together. The song sums up pretty well the overall feeling of the whole record and kind of shows all the sides of Stolen Kidneys as a band on this record. Lyrically the song sets the mood for the record. The urge to deal with the frustration, anger and angst that hate, indifference, inequality around us creates.
Ruin – Ruin starts with a rocking noise rock riff: nice disharmonic guitars with a simple beat. Somewhere along the way the mood of the song dives into dark abysses with grinding guitars creating haunting atmosphere just before bursting into the outro chords. Lyrics are yet another manifestation of frustration, an attempt to deal with the emotions the constant human urge to destroy all things beautiful.
Trail the Bliss – Trail the Bliss is one of our more diverse songs with more dynamics than a average Stolen Kidneys -song has. The song starts with an ambient intro, even beautiful one – at least on our scale. Quickly after the intro the song dives back into dark waters. One of the longer songs on the record deals with the seek of inner peace, attachment to the moment and the nature, the call of the wild.
Broken Silence – The song is a pure burst of frustration. Growing hate and indifference among the people seems like a virus that is constantly spreading. It seems that is more and more acceptable to present racist and fascist opinions on public forums and silence is what fertilises the ground for these kind of opinions to grow. The song is build around the main riff that was supposed to be just a short part in one of our old songs. Rhythmically this song uses pretty much the elements that are characteristic for our sound.
Last Embrace – Last Embrace has a pretty simple, noisy, repetitive main riff. Lyrics deal with the need to thicken ones skin to be able to deal with all the horrors happening around us. This one´s pretty simple noise rock song with a crushing doom outro wrapping the song together.
Like Predators – One of our faster songs on the record. It starts with a pretty simple punk-riff and ends up looping just one note on base with guitars creating an haunting, noisy crescendo building on top of all. The song is one of the last ones we wrote for the record and seems to be working very well on live situations as well.
Breathe the Moment – This one is probably the oldest song we´ve written for the record. It got us quite a while to get the right flow for the song. Lyrics were made while I was biking 5 weeks around Iceland. They deal with the seek to attach to the moment, opening one´s senses for the small things that are happening all around us all the time and embracing the constantly transient wonder of the moment. In the last song I try to look for an answer for all the problematic sides of human life that the previous songs deal with. Breathe the Moment slowly fades out and all the noise is been replaced by a calm ambient to end the whole record.
On history of the band and Oulu punk scene:
Our hometown Oulu is mid-sizedo Finnish town at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Currently Oulu has got pretty viral punk/hardcore/alternative music – scene with a bunch of interesting bands. The location of Oulu pretty far up north has both, its pros and cons. It´s remoteness from the scenes of other towns has left a unique mark on the “local sound”. Usually I see this as a positive thing, bands sounding interesting in a good way. The down-side of long distances is that it is sometimes pretty hard to get interesting bands this far up north. We try to beat the geography by offering our venues and help for the bands that are touring the north. There´s pretty good connections with the scenes on the Swedish side of the Bothnian Bay, Luleå and Umeå.
We started our band around 2009. Around the same time I started to get more and more involved in booking and organising the shows in our hometown. This was a pretty natural thing to happen, as if you want to play shows, you need to organise them. For the last 10 years the scene in Oulu has been pretty active thanks to few enthusiastic people and a lot of helping hands. The biggest annual effort of the scene is Hässäkkä-Päivät -festival, which is a 2-day DIY punk/hardcore -festival at the beginning of July. On the festival we´ve seen most of the best Finnish punk/hardcore/grindcore/metal -bands as well as many international guest such as Dropdead, Forward, DS-13, Tenement, Systematic Death, Magrudergrind, Snuff to name few.
We´ve been involved in other projects/bands during the existence of Stolen Kidneys. Jari, our guitarist plays in local stoner/doom/rock greatness Boar and in fast hardcore punk band called Visto. I play in hardcore bands called Viimeinen Virhe and Arrestum and in a more melodic skatepunk band Neverlearn.