Forwardman – Debut Album Review

Upcoming Finnish alt-rock artist Forwardman recently released his dynamic début album ‘This Ain’t No Rocket Science’ in association with Secret Entertainment. The Helsinki based act is the brain child of talented singer-songwriter Sakari Viittala who is fervent on ever evolving his musical style with a mix of explosive guitar solos, airy synth sounds and virtuous lyrics.

This album showcases this versatility with a diverse range of genres which can be heard throughout. The most prominent being alternative rock with hints of indie pop, psychedelica and grunge. Some tracks created a pleasant nostalgia for me, reminiscent of old school Pearl Jam and Talking Heads.

The memorable opening track ‘Against The Wheel’ draws the listener in to a distinctive ten track album. Energetic guitar riffs and bouncy basslines in heavier tunes such as ‘Cure’, ‘Twenty-Six’ and ‘Heal’ bring you on a bumpy ride through the anguish Viittala feels against the pressures of modern day society. Forwardman expresses his conflicting emotions by cleverly employing techniques such as distortion and keys changes to contrast his feelings of melancholy and hope. Lighter tracks such as ‘Driven’ reveal a barring of the soul and a will to fight on. While the instruments were musically interesting throughout the album, the vocals unfortunately did not seem to fit into the jigsaw puzzle and let the integrity of the lyrics down.

What is refreshing about this record is that it’s a cohesive concept album with regards to themes running throughout the songs depicting the emotional rollercoaster of life. However the musical styles chop and change dramatically in places which is confusing and runs the risk of losing the listener along the way.

Overall ”This Ain´t No Rocket Science” is a classic alternative-rock collection of songs offering an eclectic album filled with upbeat, catchy tunes and mellow melodies to suit any mood.

Listen – Against The Wheel, Cure, Heal

Skip – Houses, Plan C, Invisible

‘This Ain’t No Rocket Science’ is available for download on iTunes now