: Pori, a city on the West coast of Finland, is home to the nine-day annual international jazz festival which is held every year in the month of July. As a consequence, Jazz music has become very much the heart of this elegant city to the point where even the local football team embroils the name FC Jazz. However, unbeknown to the majority of these jazz crazy locals, Pori also houses one of Scandinavia’s best-kept rock music secrets. This is in the shape of “The Electric Crayon Set” (ECS), an energetic rock outfit drenched in the spirit of late seventies UK / US psychedelia. Timo Pääkkö. (Songwriter, guitarist and singer) is the main man behind ‘The Electric Crayon Set’ a band that evolved around the year 2000 from the ashes of the “Jennie Tropik Dream”
Timo Pääkkö utilising his own record label ‘South Hawk Records’ has been the creator of several other bands such as Gora, Jussi Hakulinen's Kinsky , Max & The Crooners , Penniless People Of Bulgaria but the Electric Crayon Set has been his main band for whom he has served as bandleader, songwriter, guitarist and singer.
From start to finish (no pun intended) this is a total fun album comprising totally whacky lyrics embellished within a framework of excellent musicianship. Just about everything has seemingly been chucked into the mix to create a mish-mash of layered reverberations ranging from the bright and breezy elements of "Beatlesque to the totally discordant, to my ears anyway, elements of ‘Anatolian’ psychedelia.
Generally, the album reminds me of the odd kind of stuff one used to find tucked away in some of those old ‘Pebbles and Rubbles’ compilations. Here on this eleven-track CD entitled ‘Laughing In The Clouds’ we have multitudes of bizarre reverberations integrated with weird sound effects, treated guitar fuzz tone and splashes of homemade electronics that altogether create a wispy surrealistic backdrop to their music. Indeed it is a kind of modern approach to psychedelia but is much more Intune with the artistic and more creative British variant of the late sixties as opposed to the harder-edged West Coast acid rock sound of the same period. But unlike the soft whimsical vocals from those bands of yesteryear, ECP are all about brash and bold vocal arrangements powerfully delivered by Timo Pääkkö and in turn skillfully supported by the rest of the band. There is too a certain authority about the vocals that demand your full attention as you try to decipher the meaning to the extraordinarily fun lyrics whilst enjoying the catchy hooks. The whole album is drenched with great guitar, drums and bass.
Strangely, when you consider that psychedelic rock kind of climaxed at the 1969 Woodstock festival, ECS have carved out a unique niche for themselves combining an interesting catalogue of songs with exceedingly tight musicianship.
Summary: It is indeed quite refreshing for once to listen to good interesting music, played with humour and separated from the clutches of repetitive heavy riffing and technical over complications.
A1 Pete Is Laughing In The Clouds
A2 Dreams Of The Rain
A3 Calling On The Cards
A4 Ignis Fatuus
A5 Where We Are?
B1 Isthisthewaythatyoufeelthatyouwantmetofeel ?
B2 Back To The Spaceage
B3 Music To Watch Accrington Stanley By
B4 After The Show
B5 Moonlit Graveyard Pt.1
B6 Moonlit graveyard Pt.2 - Weird Funeral March
Seppo Tyni, Bass & Harmony Vocals
Juha Kormano, Guitar& Harmony Vocals
Pekka Tyni, Keyboards & Harmony Vocals
Timo Lilja, Drums & Harmony Vocals
Timo Pääkkö, Guitar & Lead Vocals