Tusk, the latest album from the Finnish alt-prog metal group Somehow Jo!, is a new and refreshing take on the genre that charms and delights the listener from the start. When searching for words to describe this album, “fun” springs to mind almost immediately. This record is chock full of funky riffs and a wide variety of discernible influences from all corners of the musical spectrum, whisking you track-by-track on a whirlwind journey that is hectic yet captivating and immensely satisfying. You don’t quite know what to expect with each new song, and even when you think you’ve finally got a handle on it, then comes the synth; a more than welcome addition to an album that clearly thrives on keeping you on your toes.
Somehow Jo!’s approach showcased here demonstrates a clever aptitude for ensuring that their audience’s attention never wavers, routinely substituting brutal guitar sections for, say, toe-tapping groove rhythms and vice versa. Take, for example, the intro to track 8, ‘Under the setting sun’, which kicks off with a cheeky bit of organ that sounds like something straight out of the classic PC game Age of Empires. On paper, it feels like this should not work in the slightest, and yet here Somehow Jo! appears to gleefully prove otherwise. For that, they should definitely be commended. The only downside would be that the album appears to fly by, with so much going on and not so much of an opportunity to stop and catch your breath at any point in the process.
All-in-all, Tusk is a very strong new album that has been well produced and is sure to be well received by both returning fans and fresh listeners, as this should certainly garner some further attention and interest from anyone unfamiliar with Somehow Jo!. The album’s single in particular, ‘10000’, which currently sits atop their most popular tracks on Spotify and acts as the conclusion to the album, stands out a cut above the rest with its intriguing mix of sounds, almost as a testament to Somehow Jo!’s endearing diversity.