Reviews

Pennies By The Pound


Finnish indie rockers Pennies By The Pound have announced they will release their new album ‘Heat Death of the Universe’ on May 21 via Lilith Records. Ahead of this, they present lead track ‘Indigo Screams’, along with accompanying lyrics video.

Mastered by Ride frontman Mark Gardener at his OX4Sound Studio near Oxford, this long-player was produced, recorded and mixed by Rauli ‘Rake’ Eskolin, a very achieved Finnish producer who has worked on over a dozen No. 1 records in Finland in the past 20 years.

“Lyrically, there is a loose theme on the album about the way people continue to actually socially distance themselves from others (even without or before the pandemic) due to the influence of social media and maybe the internet in general. The album title is a nod to that, the “heat death of the universe” being the lack of and eventual end of real-life social connections between people,” says Johannes Susitaival.

Hailing from Helsinki, Pennies by the Pound was formed in 2016 by Johannes Susitaival as a solo project, but it quickly became a three-piece involving musicians from his past bands.

While still part of a punk rock band, Johannes began exploring some quite different musical avenues, which led to the self-produced ‘Bloodshed and the Blinding Sunlight’ EP in 2018. Having found their ideal producer after several years of searching, they began recording demos in 2019 for what would become this album. Due to the pandemic, they were finally able to record these tracks in autumn of 2020.

Pennies By The Pound’s sound blends ’80s prog rock and ’90s-early ’00s alternative rock – essentially heavily guitar-driven with a touch of keyboards… Big choruses, quite a few guitar and keyboard solos and grandiose arrangements.

“This album is rooted in the fact that I became heavily interested in ’80s Marillion a few years ago, especially the ‘Clutching at Straws’ LP. You can definitely hear the influence on the record, but there’s a lot of ’80s Rush too, spiced up with contemporary influences like Muse and Radiohead. As an artist, I’ve always been hesitant to make records that sound the same as the previous ones I’ve done, so the sound keeps evolving,” says Johannes Susitaival.

“I wanted to make a record that is borderline ridiculous, in some ways, and definitely not very contemporary. Then again, for the first time in my life, I had a chance to work with a producer, whose work I have admired since the turn of the millennium and this definitely influenced the album and its sound”.

The ‘Heat Death of the Universe’ album is out as of May 21. It can be obtained directly from the band via Bandcamp, as well as the standard platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.

TRACK LIST
01. The Waters
02. Strange Matter
03. Strange Stars (Lies Closer To Truth Than Beauty)
04. 139
05. Indigo Screams
06. San Francisco Skyline
07. Heat Death

CREDITS
Johannes Susitaival – vocals, drums, keyboards, rhythm guitar
Vesa Ranta – lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Tomi Laaksonen – bass guitar
Alexander Meaney – additional lead guitar
Written by Johannes Susitaival and Mikko Maksimainen
Arrangements by Pennies by the Pound and Rauli Eskolin
Produced, recorded and mixed by Rauli “Rake” Eskolin
Recorded at E-Studio, Sipoo, Finland and Soundtrack Studio, Porvoo, Finland
Mastered by Mark Gardener in OX4 Sound near Oxford

Pennies By The Pound – Indigo Screams

Pennies By The Pound – Bloodshed and the Blinding Sunlight

Pennies By The Pound links:
Band/Artist location – Helsinki Finland
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