Flannelmouth Rain Inside

By now, word of yet another great band from Scandinavia ought to come as a surprise to exactly no one. Flannelmouth, however, challenges the nuances of what has become a contemporary music cliché with a richly dramatic, melodic style more akin to the early ’90s Madchester scene than the typically gritty, garagey Baltic-band milieu. Hailing from Helsinki, these five Finns erect a textured wall of sound built on a solid foundation of chiming, dual guitar leads and Tuomo Kuusi’s Morrissey-informed, full-sail vocal melodies (dude’s no wholesale Moz wannabe, but the influence is clearly evident). Despite these touchstones, though, Flannelmouth carves out its own distinct sonic fjord and strikes a keen balance between reverent, romantic pop and sharp, complex radio-ready rock. Lyrically, the band is subject to some ESL issues, but, as is often the case, the group’s occasional English-language shortcomings result in some awkwardly marvellous turns of phrase. (Gridrecords)