Indica
A Way Away

Had it not been for Britney Spears, the world wouldn’t have been introduced to bad boy gone good Kevin Federline and his monumental release Playing with Fire. What a random statement to pop in my head. In completely unrelated news, I was stunned to find out Finland’s pixie rock outfit Indica had secured a deal with Nuclear Blast. What’s more, the German label has published the band’s first English-language album, A Way Away. And by stunned, I, of course, mean that everyone could have seen this coming a mile away.

Perhaps we need to rewind a bit. Indica is one of Finland’s most successful all-girl rock-pop groups, and a popular guilty pleasure within the Finnish metal crowds (for reason or another… or ten). The band first shot to the mainstream in 2004 with Ikuinen Virta, but truly rocketed to stardom after another Finnish girl pop-rock group, Tik Tak, called it quits. Tik Tak also tried international stardom by touring with teen herpes-purveyor Aaron Carter (little brother of Backstreet Boys‘ Nick Carter… just so you know.)

Being very Finnish in sound, it’s hard to namedrop bands that the American audience might know. Perhaps by disregarding all conventions, I get to call it a clusterfuck of Nightwish, Blackmore’s Night, The Corrs and Kelly Clarkson. But, like, not really. It’s simply whimsical Finnish pop-rock, which draws inspiration from other Finnish rock bands and from quirky little children’s books and tales. Oh, and it’s totally not metal.

A Way Away is sort of a best-of album, as it collects songs from the band’s Finnish-language back catalog. Yet, it’s not a simple ‘change words into English’ sort of a deal either, as the songs themselves have been altered slightly to cater to an international audience: Nightwish fans. A Way Away has been produced by Nightwish mainman/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen. And his touch shows. Granted, he also had his fingers in the band’s previous album as well, but this time around the songs are more massive, symphonic and soundtrack-driven than the band’s original, innocent and local fairyrock.

There’s definitely something lost with the translation. The band used to have somewhat of a personal ring to their sound, but now it just seems too polished and bland. Uninspired even. The songs – deep down – are still the same, however. Another indication of this is the fact that singer Jonsu’s expression has taken a hit with the introduction of the new language. She just doesn’t seem that comfortable spouting lyrics in English, even if there’s nothing wrong with the actual pronunciation.

All in all, this reminds me of how Katra (who?) wound up translating an album for Napalm Records a few years back. The difference lies in that Indica has proved it’s not a one hit wonder. Plus, there’s some credibility in the fact that they never took part in the Eurovision song contest either. Yet, it will be interesting to see how Nuclear Blast will market this and actually get it to sell, as Indica is far and away from being a metal band, even when some of the tweaks try their darnedest to prove otherwise. Yet, those very same alterations work against the whole package as all they do is sandpaper all the peculiarities away. And as we all learned from watching The Wire: watered down angel dust just doesn’t cut it.

But hey! At least the girls of Indica are putting out music videos… male metalheads of the world are obviously grateful for that fact.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
May 26th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Facial La Fleur

    Nice and sugary. I love it. Good review, Mikko.

    I wonder of Tom boy had his fingers in anything else? That lucky son of a bitch. :)


  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    The Finnish Drain STH: Hot women, average music.

    Normally I’d go for the redhead but I’ll make an exception here because the drummer’s absolutely gorgeous. :D


  3. Commented by: Facial La Fleur

    Stay the fuck away from my future wives Cynny!!!!


  4. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Hey I just want the drummer! Learn to share, kiddo! :D


  5. Commented by: Facial La Fleur

    Fair enough. Mikko says he wants the bass player, and I only really ever wanted the singer anyway. :)


  6. Commented by: Apollyon

    Guys guys guys… you’re forgetting the most important aspect: the music! Concentrate!

    …I’ll get m’coat.


  7. Commented by: Cynicgods

    I mentioned it was average right after I said they were hot, didn’t I? ;)


  8. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Facial: That’s more like it. Everybody wins! :D


  9. Commented by: jk666

    Singer sounds like a cartoon character…


  10. Commented by: Estelindis

    For the record, I completely agree with your review. Something has been lost in the translation. While I love all of Tuomas Holopainen’s work with Nightwish, I think he has overproduced the heck out of this album. Indica’s music in Finnish sounds much more free, natural, and sincere. (I have all their Finnish albums and highly recommend them.)


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