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RATSIA
REVIEW

Ratsia just missed the first wave of punk rock bands, but their first LP is without a question one of the best of the early Finnish punk rock albums.

Before signing to Johanna, Ratsia had already recorded most of the album's songs in their rehearsal place and released them on tape Kloonattu sukupolvi, but it was a good idea to re-record them in a proper studio, now with Rubberduck Jones of Pelle Miljoona & 1980 as a producer. The first single Lontoon skidit had just been released, and very well received, so the expectations were high. And when the LP came out, it definitely wasn't a let-down, it was full of great, catchy and energetic tunes.

Perhaps the album opener Taidetta summarizes the overall spirit: we have our own thing and do things as we see fit, even if it doesn't please the previous generations or is against their views of aesthetics. Also the then hot topic in Finland, idolizing the American stars of the 50's as a part of the rockabilly revival, and the way the trend was forcefed to Finnish teens by marketing consultants, is critizited (Aikakone), but on the other hand they pay tribute to their own heroes New York Dolls (Kaatopaikan enkelit). Lontoon skidit was re-recorded for the album, this time with Hepa Halme on saxophone. The new version is good and differs little from the single version, but still the original single version is better. There are also two cover tracks, Stiff Little Fingers' Wasted life (Ne ei haluu kuunnella) and The Clash's 48 hours (48 tuntia), both good renditions of the originals.

In the next couple of years Ratsia moved on from the original punk rock style, made two more (different but good or goodish) albums, and broke up. This first album was probably their greatest achievement, and it's a true crime that it still hasn't been re-released (on CD or otherwise).

text by Jarkko Kuivanen
 
Johanna LP
2008 Johanna CD
2011 Svart Records LP