Menetetty Maa, Pelkotila, Feral Chaos, Chop Off Your Arm – Ravintola Cactus, Helsinki 4.1.2020
First gig of the new year tonight for your humble reviewer and it’s in Käpylä’s Ravintola Cactus. Headed to the WC first as I was desperate for a slash and was somewhat surprised to catch some fucking idiots deliberately blocking up and trying to flood all the toilets. Really fucking clever guys. Way to lose another venue. Luckily I was able to get them unblocked but honestly WTF?!??
Anyway, kicking off tonight’s proceedings were the interestingly-named CHOP OFF YOUR ARM, fronted by growling vocalist Kimmo who also plays in MENETETTY MAA. What to say about this lot? Hmmm, certainly very entertaining but er, possibly not the world’s tightest or most well-rehearsed band! Not that they seemed to care about that very much and to be fair this was apparently only their 4th gig in three years or thereabouts so they haven’t exactly had the chance to hone themselves into a well-oiled gigging machine. That aside, they were clearly having fun and enjoying themselves and their infectious enthusiasm soon won over the audience too – a chaotic but fun start to the evening!
There were more growling vocals from band number two, FERAL CHAOS, but this time over bone-crunchingly heavy riffage that smacked you in the face like a runaway juggernaut overloaded with tonnes of lead piping. A lot of slow doomy riffs but also faster stuff too – if you like it heavy with gruff monster vocals then this is for you!
PELKOTILA were up next and wow, these guys are angry! Raging, tight as fuck D-beat/crustcore with some excellent original drumming and angry duelling vocals. I’d never seen this three-piece before but they really blew me away. Definitely looking forward to catching them again.
MENETETTY MAA were the closing act tonight and as usual they didn’t disappoint. The no holds barred dual guitar attack backed up by some tight, powerful drumming from human dynamo Lasse behind the kit didn’t take long to get the crowd going as energetic frontman Matias prowled the stage spitting out the lyrics like a man possessed. Songs like “Kuudes Joukkosukupuutto” (“6th Mass Extinction”) seemed sadly all too apt at a time when the headlines are full of news showing our planet burning as a billion animals die in the out of control forest fires raging in Australia – and this band aren’t gonna let you forget about it. They also played some newer numbers from their soon to be recorded debut LP which went down well too – that’s definitely going to be a disc to look out for when it sees the light of day later this year.
So, another good gig but if we want to keep having them in places like this then it would probably be a wise idea to cut out the mindless vandalism. Not only were the toilets targeted but, at one point during the show, the disco ball above the dancefloor got smashed during some over-enthusiastic pogoing and ended up adorning some bloke’s head like some kind of glittering crust-punk shower cap – admittedly that did have it’s amusing side but one suspects the venue owners may not have been laughing. Ravintola Cactus might not be the most amazing venue in the world but it’s been the setting for many a fun evening of punk rock and if we want to keep it that way we need to treat the place, and others like it, with some basic respect ie no more deliberately fucking up their toilets or smashing up their dancefloor lights. That’s stupidity on stilts. OK, sermon over. That apart, it was a fun night – let’s just hope it’s not the last.