Mr Velcro Fastener – Lucky Bastards Living Up North

Album Review by Mark Bayross

Hailing from Finland’s oldest city, a distinctly chilly sounding place called Turku, Mr Velcro Fastener is actually two moog-loving mentalists called Tatu Metsätähti and Tatu Peltonen. As their name suggests, they have a fondness for kitsch and for not taking themselves too seriously.

Coming on like a cross between Mr. Oizo and Kraftwerk, LUCKY BASTARDS LIVING UP NORTH is an hour’s worth of funky analog electro that’s so old skool it’s practically still in nappies. Despite calling their opening track “Phlegmatic”, the two techno-obsessed Finns do seem to care about the aesthetics of futurism, even if it is in a hopelessly retro fashion.

Song titles like REALROBOTS, ROBOTS 4 LIFE and REALROBOTS DON’T DIE don’t leave a lot to the imagination, and if that wasn’t enough, the album’s packaging doubles as a couple of cut-out robot toys. The thing is, Kraftwerk did all this 25 years ago with a lot more style and melody, and they were actually saying something too. This just burbles along pleasantly without really doing anything.

True, tracks like BLUE SCREENS and VECTOR GRAPHICS (Jeez, we’re in ZX Spectrum heaven here…) have a certain Orbital-esque edginess to them, but it’s not really enough to engage long-term interest.

Back to the ticker-tape machine, guys.

3 stars

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