Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — caught an early flight to Helsinki, where we soaked up the spring sunshine before taking a ferry to Helsinki’s islands. Among other things, we looked at cute animals at Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari and ate far too much pickled herring. Then we sat down to review Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät‘s Eurovision 2015 song ‘Aina mun pitää’ (I Always Have To). Did we rock out to their unique take on punk? Read on to find out…
Finland’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät with ‘Aina mun pitää’
Robyn: At last – punk comes to Eurovision! Some crusty old punks
singing snarling a 90-second song about the annoyances in their lives as adults with learning disabilities – this is exactly what Eurovision needs. It’s short, it’s angry, and it has more of a message than this year’s earnest songs-with-messages. And the fact that PKN are bothering so many ESC fans is evidence that they’re doing the punk thing exactly right. Oh yeah!
Bogdan: Twenty years ago, I would have been all over “Aina mun pitää”. I was going through my alternative phase and I would listen to this kind of music every single day. The song is good, but quite dated and slightly repetitive – thankfully it doesn’t last long. Finland had many strong choices for Vienna — Opera Skaala would have been magnificent — but alas, we’re stuck with a vintage punk song that literally goes nowhere. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t advance to the final…
William: Ahead of Finland’s Eurovision 2015 selection, I described “Aina mun pitää” as “noise with a good backstory”. I still think that, but now find myself looking past the grunts and musical shortcomings and focusing instead on the implicit message: That people with special needs are part of our society and deserve a platform for creative expression just like the rest of us. In certain parts of Europe discussing conditions like Down Syndrome remains taboo and people with special needs are shunned both by the system and in many cases their own families, who lock them away in special homes. I know this is a song contest. But sometimes a song strikes a chord with people for the strength of its message rather than its melody. Rock on!
Chris: The more time goes on, the less I think that PKN will actually qualify for the final. Whilst it’s great that there’s a punk song at Eurovision, we shouldn’t have to settle for this. When the likes of Max Jason Mai have tried to bring other genres to Eurovision, they’ve failed spectacularly. PKN are going to need to have a lot of support for reasons other than the song to make it through to the final. I don’t think they’ll get it.
Angus: I don’t wanna rock, rock DJ. Punk just isn’t my genre and while I respect the story of Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, ‘Aina mun pitää’ doesn’t do anything for me. The punk rockers of the world might be head-over-heels but I’m just not into it.
Anthony: First things first: Congratulations to Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät for winning UMK and representing their country. Now we move on to their song itself. The problem with “Aina mun pitää” is that there doesn’t seem to be any melody or hook to draw in viewers. Just one and a half minutes of pure punk noise, that’s all. I wouldn’t be surprised if the juries feel the same way. Then again, don’t go complaining if Finland ends up becoming the “My Slowianie” of 2015.
Deban: Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät aren’t good ambassadors for Finland. To outsiders, they are caught in an ugly time warp. Despite their sob story that music in general and “Aina Mun Pitää” in particular offers solace to the elderly and handicapped, the reality is that they’ll never be the kingpins of social mobility. To enjoy this, you need to zone out on a cocktail of barbiturates.
Padraig: I respect PKN and the struggles and prejudice which they’ve overcome in order to make it to Eurovision. But that doesn’t mean I should be obliged to like their song. As far as I’m concerned it’s just noise. On the plus-side, it’s mercifully short.
Mikhail: PKN are really cool and very brave. No matter what, they do what they want, they go on stage, they perform and they seem to enjoy what they do. However, their song is just not good enough for me. I really cannot enjoy that growling. Their video is kind of disgusting and I just have to turn it off. I don’t get punk, but one thing I know for sure – I cannot stand this song.
Sinan: What the hell was that, what were Finnish people thinking and why is this song less than two minutes long? I listened to this for the first time today and I have more questions than nice things to say.
— PKN (@PKNimipaivat) April 22, 2015
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 0/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 0 and a high of 7.