WHO'S FINLAND'S BEST BAND OF ALL TIME?.....Bet you haven't thought about that in a while, have ya? For my money it's LIIMANARINA. I have been associating Finland of late with great hockey players more than I have bands -- my own San Jose Sharks have Teemu Selanne ("The Finnish Flash"), Miika Kiprusoff ("The Kipper") and Vesa Toskala ("Vesa Toskala"). But last weekend I pulled out the Liimanarina 45s from the early 90s, and I had to declare it right then and there -- this is Finland's hottest rock and roll band ever, folks. Yes, better than EPPU NORMAALI and better even than TERVEET KADET, hard as that might be for some of you to fathom. Who are Liimanarina? They appear to be essentially one guy, Olli Pauke, and a cast of revolving charcters who are subordinate to his demented vision. Their early 90s singles are noisy, totally off the wall and out of control early HALF JAPANESE-style lunacy, with a hint of THE FALL and first-LP MEAT PUPPETS (you know, the crazy lo-fi artcore record). The big standout is the first track on their first single,"Kuinka Aku Ankasta Tehdaan Poliisi" (which translates as 'How To Turn Donald Duck Into A Policeman') -- such hilariously anarchic rock and roll is rarely realized. I first heard about them via raves about Liimanarina and the Bad Vugum record label in Forced Exposure and Siltbreeze magazines & then tracked down the 45s. I believe Long Gone John at Sympathy put out a Bad Vugum compilation EP with two great Liimanarina tracks, and then there's their only LP/CD "Spermarket" on Drag City from 1995 that I still have not heard. Someone needs to pull those 7"EPs together for a real good time and get that Liimanarina revival happening!
PS - Since I wrote this, all three of the Finnish players on the Sharks were lost to free agency. All are still in the NHL at varying levels of stardom. Oh, and I heard the Liimanarina LP, and I don't like it much.
"Maailman Tylsin Vittumaisuus" EP - 1989
Side AKuinka Aku Ankasta Tehdään Poliisi (2:01)
Naapurin Pojat Puisine Lintuineen (1:09)
600 Uusnatsia (2:45)
Mari Nainilan Maria I. Linnaa & Irina Manilaa Koskeva Nana L.A. Riimi-tyylinen L. Naamariini-kysymys (Ari L. Imi Annaa) (0:08)
Oh, and I just realized that my description of early Meat Puppets and early Half Japanese may fall flat for people who've never heard those versions of the bands, considering how both acts smoothed out any rough edges during the 80s and 90s. It would be quite exciting for me to know that your first time hearing said bands would be by clicking the links below. Maybe you'll even see how Liimanarina possibly ingested the influence of both.
Play or Download THE MEAT PUPPETS - "In A Car" (from 1981 debut 7"EP)
Play or Download HALF JAPANESE - "Calling All Girls" (from 1977 debut 7"EP)