I’ve been putting off having to write this review because although I could tell this was a very good record, I didn’t really like it at first. Being as I’m a nice young man from Minnesota, I don’t generally care for badmouthing. I just sat on it instead, and periodically gave it a spin. I found myself doing this more and more as the weeks passed, and I’m glad I did because this album kicks ass.
That it took me several listens to come around on “I Am Not Here”, in many ways speaks more to its strengths than weaknesses. No matter how good a record is, if it’s not your type of music (almost especially if it’s not your type of punk, as we’re the most fickle of bastards) you’re probably not going to dig it right away. It doesn’t have the advantage of sounding like your favorite band to immediately grab you. It needs to grow on you with its hooks, and keep your attention by staying interesting. It’s a circuitous route to the happy part of your brain that likes stuff, but the end result is the same. The immensely talented One Hidden Frame have successfully trailblazed this path in my brain.
To give my questionable taste some context, I’m the sort of loser who didn’t like Potemkin City Limits when it came out. On the other hand, I can listen to Ramones-core songs about outer space all day long, and that shit is stupid as fuck. I am under no false pretenses that what I like is pretty dumb.
One Hidden Frame are very much a mash up of newer Propagandhi and Ignite. I came up with this equation independently of their bio, but it also says the same thing. They thankfully do not indulge too much in the operatic howling of the latter, which is something I would have a hard time getting past. Some noises should be private, and the guy from Ignite is one of them. Because I’m not super familiar with post-“Today’s Empires…” Propagandhi, I put some on to make sure this comparison was accurate, and had difficulty remembering which band I was playing as I switched back and forth. The only way I could tell was that the dude from One Hidden Frame (who are from Finland) has a slight accent, but otherwise the difference was negligible. In song structure, style, and quality they are definitely FFO the aforementioned Canadian heroes.
It always seems a bit insulting to compare a band so strongly to another, but I really don’t mean it that way. These songs may sound like another band, but that band is fucking incredible, and these guys are right up there with them. The songs on “I Am Not Here” are unskippable if you’re paying attention. There’s something interesting and different around every corner, and each track has like 8 different cool parts that avoid seeming unnecessary. Because I’m a gentle boy, I prefer the poppier tracks, namely the one-two punch of “Watch For Your Head On The Way Out” and “You Are Free To Go”. I do recommend playing the album all the way through though, the songs compliment each other so well, and the entire package is just solid.
Although my Propagandhi collection ends in 2001, I am all in on “I Am Not Here”.
Despite my initial stylistic distaste, this is some of the best shit I’ve heard all year. Some records are good enough to transcend genres. If you like Propagandhi, I don’t see why you aren’t already throwing money at One Hidden Frame’s Bandcamp page. This’ll be your new favorite band.
1 – Run To The Rescue With Love
2 – Information Blackout
3 – Distract And Digress
4 – Watch For Your Head On The Way Out
5 – You Are Free To Go
6 – Dry Out
7 – Obstacles
8 – The Playground
9 – Tunnel Vision
10 – And The Crowd Roars
11 – I Am Not Here
12 – Wipe The Slate Clean
One Hidden Frame was established in the year 2002 in Lappeenranta, South East Finland, close to the Russian border. Bowing down to the direction of Bad Religion, Propagandhi and Adhesive, their main focus was to create energetic melodic punk rock, spiced with melancholy and aggression and meaningful lyrics towards a more solidary world.
OHF has musically moved forward all the time with 5 albums released: Time To React (2005), Comforting Illusion (2007), Giant Steps (2009), the Water Seems Inviting (2013), Harmful Content (2017) and a split 7″ with Thousand Oaks (2018). They’ve been happy to perform at Manchester Punk Festival, twice in Punk Rock Holiday and +20 countries.
|One Hidden Frame:|
Pekka Multaharju – Lead vocals / guitar
Vesa Sinkko – Guitar/backing vocals
Emil Stenbäck – Drums
Vesa Ahonen – Bass/backing vocals