Psychadilly Circus (Big Stir Records 2021)
Formed in the late seventies as mere teenagers, The Bablers are best remembered for their 1980 debut album, What’s All About. The Finnish band carried on a few more years before going their separate ways. But music remained in their blood, and each member of band impressively claims at least one Finnish Grammy for their non-Bablers efforts. Yet the split proved to be only a mighty long sabbatical. Come 1998, the band cut a reunion album, Like The First Time, and are back in action once again with Psychadilly Circus, which reins in as another feather in their cap.
Starring Arto Tamminen on vocals, guitar, bass, cello, drums and keyboards, Janne Haavisto on drums and vocals, Pekka Grohn on bass, keyboards and vocals, and Hannu Pikkarainen on guitar and vocals, The Bablers re-energize heritage pop rock values with care and clarity.
The title track of the album layers a chorus of trippy distorted vocals over a bounding rhythm, and the blindingly beautiful Love Is Everything proposes an explosive exposition of impassioned vocals, dashing piano arrangements and strong and steady drumming. I Hope It Wouldn’t Rain Tomorrow is assembled of chiming guitars and bracing breaks, while the casually-paced and pretty-patterned Love To Live is pricked with bluesy licks, and could easily pass as a prime John Lennon number.
The apparition of Badfinger visits both the fetching power ballad All Because Of You and the breezy stride of Some Tears, where visions of The Kinks appear on Angry Young Man, which struts and prances to a foot-tapping dance hall beat.
Ringing and rolling guitar chords, combined with juicy melodies and radiant harmonies illuminate the perfectly poptastic When You Were Growing, and then there’s the waltzing tempo of the haunting and dramatic Queen Of Yesterday and the perenially punchy Walking On Sunny Beach that flickers with clicking hooks and glinted instrumentation.
The Bablers may be seasoned professionals, but Psychadilly Circus projects a solid sense of purity and wide-eyed enthusiasm. These folks know making music should be fun, and the songs on this album reflect such intimate and earthy perspectives. Awash with top-line tunes, Psychadilly Circus is a bona fide keeper.