Mystery Train is the lead single from Helsinki Lambda Club’s upcoming EP “Hello, my darkness” and to see them teaming up with Wez Atlas is quite the treat. This is the first time I’m reviewing a HLC song on the blog, so let me tell you a little about them.
Helsinki Lambda Club formed in 2013 and their music has been described as having the spirit of garage punk, new wave, and psychedelic. They’re a Japanese alt-rock band that has a wide range and a lot of talent. Their name is well known in the J-Indie scene, and they’ve played festivals and large-scale venues across the country. They’ve also done a bit of touring in Asia, playing Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan. As for the song’s guest rapper Wez Atlas, I recently reviewed his track “Ghost” so check that out for more about him. Busy guy.
Ok, let’s see how the song sounds.
They had me in the first half, lost me in the second. Really great sound from the start, very electronic, which threw me until the band comes in with a tight pop groove for Wez to flow over. And he sounds great here, playful but with some great lyrics to back it up. The first verse is fully HLC backed and is a great contrast to keep things interesting. The second verse brings some electronic fun followed by a killer groove that Gorillaz would be proud of, and then we hit the chorus again. Sadly this is where the song just kind of stagnates until the end, but it was a fun ride while it lasted. I think they could have lost the last 40 seconds and had a much tighter song.
The stand out here is absolutely Wez, but also props go to the mixing engineer who somehow made the stylistic jumps work together so well. I have no idea where Helsinki Lambda Club ends and the programming begins, and that’s wonderful. The sound could have been a bit thicker at points, but I’m sure we’ll get that on other tracks in the EP. More than anything I can’t wait to hear the rest of the release.
This Mystery Train collab is the perfect blend of styles. I hope they work together again in the future. Definitely worth a listen.
Reviewed: 22.06.29 / Reviewer: EB