Sairaat Mielet - Controversial History 1988-1993 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sairaat Mielet

Controversial History 1988-1993 (2006)

Six Weeks

Duuude. I think I've found it. I think I have found the Holy Grail of straight-edge. Believe me though, this is not any run-of-the-mill straight-edge hardcore band, with shaved heads, and breakdowns, and songs about "thinking straight" or getting "stabbed in the back." Sairaat Mielet were a Finnish thrash band from the late `80s through the early `90s, and, apparently, were one of very, very few bands in Finland to be straight-edge.

This CD combines their only two legitimate releases, 1990's Punk on Paskaa [Punk Is Bullshit] EP, and 1991's Tippa Tappaa [A Drop Kills] EP. The CD starts off with Tippa Tappaa, which is, with a decent amount of hyperbole, one of the greatest punk recordings of the decade. The guitar sound is fantastic, and basically rips right through you. I would say it's a "buzzsaw" sound, but that would be inaccurate; it's more of an electric turkey knife cutting through a live turkey during a snowstorm. There are serious melodic lines, speedy thrash riffs, and metallic tempo changes, all delivered with almost heavy metal level proficiency. The vocals are fantastic, essentially a bunch of tortured screams, all in Finnish, the true language of punk. Punk on Paskaa isn't quite as good as its followup; odd fuzz permeates the recording, and the songwriting isn't as complex. Still, it's an above-average EP.

The CD case is pretty cool, too. The album artwork, although initially hard to make out, turns out to be someone's ass with a bong shoved up it. The lyrics, and their English translations, for Tippa Tappaa are on a separate two-page insert. The lyrics for Punk on Paskaa are noticeably absent; the credits say, "Lyrics of PUNK ON PASKAA – ep are illegal according to law, so unfortunately are not available." How cool is that?

Any chance to get Controversial History should not be passed up, whether you're a fan of straight-edge hardcore, street punk, early metalcore, or just plain punk.