There’s something very strange going on in Finland. Well, yeah, obviously. That’s why we love Finnish music so much. But we mean even STRANGER. Or nowhere has it been stranger than in and around the Circle camp. But whatever it is, we like it. The stranger the better. As if it wasn’t enough that Circle records proper continue to get weirder and weirder and more in keeping with their self perpetuated New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal (NWOFHM) movement, the band continually create other outlets for their seemingly endless outpouring of damaged musical genius. So first they offered us the murky chug of Circle side project Doktor Kettu. Then the blown out psychedelic stoner rock of Pharoah Overlord. But more recently, running a parallel course to Circle’s gradual metallizing, things started getting, well, still even more metal. Culminating in records by Krypt Axeripper and Steel Mammoth, who took Circle’s new Judas Priest worship as far as it could go, until now. Circle seem to enjoy taking on the guise of lost mysterious Finnish heavy metal bands, only -sort of- trying to pretend it wasn’t in fact them…
And thus we have yet another mysterious Finnish metal band, from the eighties? Maybe? Maybe not? It’s the strangely named Tractor Pulling. Whose debut 7″ is also the first release on Ektro sublabel Full Contact. The cover art while not metal, is definitely bizarre. The Tractor Pulling logo is appropriately metal, the band members are called Electric Erko, Eeto Von Tomb and Brutalpo (who is credited with “Exploding tom-toms”), and so it will come as no surprise that Tractor Pulling are fully and unabashedly (though perhaps ironically) metal. Eighties style. Falling somewhere between Judas Priest, AC/DC and Accept. Killer super distorted riffs, bombastic drumming, and crazy multi tracked vocals, one low and growly, one eighties metal falsetto, singing in tandem until the inevitable call and response of the chorus “HIGH SPEED! LOW SPEED!” with, yep, you guessed it, the falsetto vocal for the first part, the low growly vocal for the second. The guitars are a bit tripped out, processed and harmonized, some soaring dual guitar action, little flurries of space rock FX, and some serious hooks. It’s pretty dead on in its borrowing and stealing from the eighties metal canon, but there are bits and pieces that are too modern, and a little too psychedelic, to be one hundred percent convincing, but those things only serve to make this stuff even more wacked and AWESOME. Maybe too ‘metal’ for hypnorockers, but any one who dug any of Circle’s more metal side projects will probably dig this too.
Circle, Pharaoh Overlörd, Krypt Axeripper, Steel Mammoth… These bands familiar to NWOFHM warriors will find a new comrade standing in their ranks, when Ektro Records releases the debut single of Tractor Pulling. ”Ghost Hungerland” will enter record stores with a bang like the volcanoes of Lucifer! ”Ghost Hungerland” has two boogie rock songs of the most radioactive variety, immortalized on seven inches of black vinyl. When this music makes the legs of your pants flap around with greasy primitivism, the only solution is to jump into a flaming truck and thunder down the highway! High speed! Low speed!