The Ras­mus

Dark Mat­ters

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Albums - John ai­zle­wood

Finns: very much like they used to be.

Around the time of their 2003 al­bum Dead Let­ters it seemed as though The Ras­mus might make their long-awaited global break­through. In­stead, lack­ing any­thing to eclipse the heroic sin­gle In The Shad­ows, the Helsinki quar­tet went back to be­ing as pop­u­lar as Kare­lian pies at home.

Fu­elled by a five-year gap since 2012’s self-ti­tled al­bum and by Cal­i­for­nia-based front­man Lauri Ylo­nen and fel­low founder Pauli Ran­tasalmi’s di­vorces, for all its lyri­cal bleak­ness (‘I know it’s gonna get worse,’ Ylo­nen sighs on Noth­ing), Dark Mat­ters never mopes mu­si­cally. Won­der­man is an explosion of spi­ralling verses and fist-pump­ing, multi-coloured cho­ruses; Em­pire is de­li­ciously twin­kle-toed and Par­adise, all buzz-saw bass, piano in­ter­ludes and hoot­ing back­ing vo­cals, shows just how ef­fec­tively The Ras­mus have honed their craft.

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