From Harjavalta to new Bohemia

One of the most remarkable phenomena in Finnish music in the early Noughties were thin young men with their skinny jeans, skater-type sneakers and unkempt hair. They knew their overseas influences like backs of their hands and combined emotional vocals with energetic music, creating, with a little help from the media, a whole new genre in the process. There were many sorts of hopefuls riding the bandwagon, admittedly some better than others, making it necessary to coin a name for the new trend, and that name was emo. Not all bands, however, were content with this single-dimensioned tag, and Lapko from the south-western smalltown of Harjavalta shed it already with its angry 2004 debut The Arms.

Over the years and two albums that have followed, Lapko has grown to be one of the most passionately loved bands in Finnish alternative rock. Their rhythmic twists, raging guitars and heartstring-pulling melodies have become a trademark and a licence to trespass any genre limits. Lapko's music is twisted and nervous, yet effective and touchingly pretty; and while the chaps are photogenic enough for music magazine covers, they still look suitably shabby to allure alternative kids to stop and listen.

Everything that's good on Lapko's albums is even greater when the band is playing live. With its fourth album A New Bohemia still hot from the oven, the band is bound to offer one of the most intensive shows at this year's Ilosaarirock Festival. Don't miss your chance to take a healthy trashing from Lapko, because you never know how long the opportunity lasts. If the band keeps on moving with this pace, their future summers will be spent in more illustrious circles somewhere far away.

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