“Pennies By The Pound have more in common with 60s psych-driven rock and 80s American college rock than with their Fenno-Scandian peers. Such a big and extravagant classic psychedelic rock. Wherever they may draw their influences from, one thing is for sure: this is brilliant music for here and now, wherever that may be” ~ Big Takeover Magazine
“There’s special cases like Susitaival, who will forever remain as a 90’s teenager, regardless of how the world changes or how one’s body might age” ~ Niko Peltonen (Soundi)
“A trippy ride that recalls the familiar vibes and sounds of none other than Bob Mould, The Church / Marty Willson-Piper, Marillion and Jethro Tull. Yes, all of them and yes, this is actually possible. Loads of flair and professionalism from the band” ~ Amplify Music Magazine
“Indeed a wonderful affair… Pennies By the Pound should be on everyone’s radar as a must-have album of 2021 and a band to watch in future” ~ The Record Stache
Finnish prog-psych rockers Pennies By The Pound have released their album‘Heat Death of the Universe’ via Lilith Records, mastered by Ride frontman Mark Gardenerat hisOX4Sound Studionear Oxford. This long-player was produced, recorded and mixed by Rauli ‘Rake’ Eskolin, a rather achieved Finnish producer who has worked on over a dozen No. 1 records in Finland in the past 20 years.
Pennies By The Pound’s sound blends ’80s prog rock and ’90s-early ’00s alternative rock – essentially heavily guitar-driven with a touch of keyboards… Big choruses, quite a few guitar and keyboard solos and grandiose arrangements.
“Lyrically, there is a loose theme on the album about the way people continue to actually socially distance themselves from others (even without or before the pandemic) due to the influence of social media and maybe the internet in general. The album title is a nod to that, the “heat death of the universe” being the lack of and eventual end of real-life social connections between people,” says Johannes Susitaival.
Hailing from Helsinki, Pennies by the Pound was formed in 2016 by Johannes Susitaival as a solo project, but it quickly became a three-piece involving musicians from his past bands. Ahead of this, the band previewed lead track‘Indigo Screams‘, along with accompanying lyrics video.
While still part of a punk rock band, Johannes began exploring some quite different musical avenues, which led to the self-produced ‘Bloodshed and the Blinding Sunlight’ EP in 2018. Having found their ideal producer after several years of searching, they began recording demos in 2019 for what would become this album. Due to the pandemic, they were finally able to record these tracks in autumn of 2020.
“This album is rooted in the fact that I became heavily interested in ’80s Marillion a few years ago, especially the ‘Clutching at Straws’ LP. You can definitely hear the influence on the record, but there’s a lot of ’80s Rush too, spiced up with contemporary influences like Muse and Radiohead. As an artist, I’ve always been hesitant to make records that sound the same as the previous ones I’ve done, so the sound keeps evolving,” says Johannes Susitaival.
“I wanted to make a record that is borderline ridiculous, in some ways, and definitely not very contemporary. Then again, for the first time in my life, I had a chance to work with a producer, whose work I have admired since the turn of the millennium and this definitely influenced the album and its sound”.
01. The Waters
02. Strange Matter
03. Strange Stars (Lies Closer To Truth Than Beauty)
05. Indigo Screams
06. San Francisco Skyline
07. Heat Death
Johannes Susitaival – vocals, drums, keyboards, rhythm guitar
Vesa Ranta – lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Tomi Laaksonen – bass guitar
Rauli Eskolin – additional keyboards, background vocals on track 6
Alexander Meaney – additional lead guitar on track 5
Kaisa Ranta – additional vocals on tracks 3 and 7, background vocals on track 6
All songs written by Johannes Susitaival, except for track 5 written by Johannes Susitaival and Mikko Maksimainen
All arrangements by Pennies by the Pound and Rauli Eskolin
Produced, recorded and mixed by Rauli “Rake” Eskolin
Recorded at E-Studio, Sipoo, Finland and Soundtrack Studio, Porvoo, Finland
Mastered by Mark Gardener in OX4 Sound Studio near Oxford
FOR FANS OF: Bob Mould, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Marillion, Jethro Tull, Steven Wilson, Marty Willson-Piper, Guided By Voices, The Persian Leaps