Led by frontman, Sami “Haxu” Hakala, Rock Masters Band emerged in 2007, hailing from Finland’s capital, Helsinki. This band has a history of bringing in certain musicians, familiar to Finnish headbangers, and producers as one-off contributors to individual tracks. This particular offering is a double single (released January10th, 2015). Both songs are short, sweet and unpretentious. It’s Scandinavian rock but not of the heavy pin-you-to-the-wall kind.
Common to both songs is the presence of Sami and his wife, Riikka who adds vocals, with different musicians making up the band on each track. “Hit The City” has a steady mid-tempo beat and some nice harmonies on the vocals, good bluesy guitar work and funky keyboards. It is, perhaps, the more original of the two tracks. “Diamonds” is faster, more urgent and heavier, still with harmonizing vocals, a good rock guitar solo, and a cymbal crash to finish.
Not being familiar with this band, I blasted their debut album, “Taking Liberties” on YouTube and I got the feeling it’s one that could grow on me in time. Their second album, “The March of the Pink Fat Elephants” from 2013 has a track I really like – the soft, psychedelic dreamy “State of the Art”. This shows that Rock Masters Band produces a varied stew, but then, different influences are bound to come from using different musicians and collaborators. Meanwhile, more recording is planned for this coming year in addition to a promise of Sami “Haxu” Hakala’s material appearing on PS4 games. I’m imagining something loud and thrashy rather than shoegazing.
Nothing on this single release elevates it into anything especially memorable or worthy of standing out from the crowd, but if you just like to let your hair down to journeyman rock, this will serve that purpose well.