It has to be the tap water. Something uniquely peculiar in it makes the creatively inclined denizens of Tampere, Finland experience a transformation into trickster gods possessed by mischievous glee and an endless stream of weaponized ideas to introduce cosmic chaos and animalistic frenzy into everyday corporeal reality. Having done my university studies in this affable city, I have experienced first-hand how seemingly respectable would-be-intellectuals and future white-collar go-getters make rampaging beasts of themselves. Administered by the madcap collective Hukutus, Oksitosiini provides an aural encapsulation of this rambunctious metamorphosis. It is one hell of a ride without brakes or safety belts.
It becomes clear immediately that Hukutus drinks from the same interdimensional well of kaleidoscopic brilliance and overwhelming dazzle as spiritual brothers Oranssi Pazuzu, Dark Buddha Rising, Atomikylä and Domovoyd, but chooses instead to forego the temptation to build meticulously labyrinthine monuments of droning psychedelia by ripping through the veil with massive riffs and running amok with its hungry maw encrusted with shroom-infused spittle. Accompanying the disorienting bad trip vibes with a primal intensity and the delicacy of a runaway bulldozer is a maneuver that gives this offering a vivid aura of threat belonging to a roaring id; something you think is lurking in the dark crevices at the edge of your sanity, distorting your perception of reality, before realizing that it is already ripping and gnawing at your entrails.
Recorded mostly live, Oksitosiini exudes rawness, albeit not in terms of fidelity but in the way the execution reveals a presence of naked, primeval power, knee-deep in a psychotropic mist. The proceedings are kept enthralling without resorting to hackneyed avant-garde tomfoolery or pointless psychedelic parlor tricks that meander and deflate without adding anything of artistic value. This is accomplished with a creative fury, sharp songwriting and meaty riffs. As a result, the songs drill a path for an army of venomous earworms, such as the album’s massive opening riff on “Ave Mariana,” a grand declaration of purpose that transitions directly to “Nadiirit” and its immediate pile driver assault, which shows that the riff mastery introduced on the first track is not a cosmic fluke but a harbinger of the underlying hunger that guides the unstoppable momentum.
Together with firm Euclidian reference points, strict genre tags lose meaning, as Hukutus skillfully borrows from the palette of black, death, heavy psych, punk and ritual drone, using those as building blocks for a sonic tent under which the oiled, bare bodies of influence wrestle with delirious abandon. True to its heritage and roots, Oksitosiini brims with tonal elements that resemble warped versions of Finnish avant-garde and folk music, with tunes and melodies devoured and regurgitated by voracious wormholes (for those in the know about the Finnish scene, there are times when Oksitosiini sounds like the aggressive surrealism that early YUP could have conjured up, had they gone black metal). “Se Seisoo” charms with its hypnotizing sway, deliriously demented waltzing and deep droning chants, reminders of the danger and dismembering turmoil waiting hidden in the seemingly empty spaces, while “Metsä ja yö” crackles to higher existence with a jolt of electrifying twang that hits the prefrontal cortex and shocks the third eye wide open. On the opposite side of the tonal spectrum of style, “Tapa Itse” bursts out with a high velocity punk steamroller that entices with its morbid, playful bouncy vibe before morphing into crawling, sinister death metal, which screeches to a halt with the sudden appearance of a soaring guitar lead, followed by a furious blast fest and, ultimately, sullen resignation.
This stylistic variety coupled with the immediacy of the songwriting and psychedelic pummeling is ultimately Hukutus’ greatest triumph. Seven years and three recording sessions in the making, Oksitosiini provides the warm exhilarating rush of your favorite psychoactive substance with a flurry of primal passions. It beckons you over, on a journey through a psychedelic whirlpool which leads to spiritual transformation. Drink the water, savor its taste and enjoy the trip.