Five Fifteen - 1998 Six Dimensions Of The Electric Camembert


ARTIST: Five Fifteen
ALBUM: Six Dimensions Of The Electric Camembert
LABEL: Record Heaven
YEAR: 1998
SPONSOR: Record Heaven


LINEUP: Mika Jarvinen - vocals, guitars * Marika Liuski - vocals, percussion * Pekka Laine - guitar, vocals * Pate Kivinen - keyboards, vocals * Repe Lumikumpu - bass * Janne Suni - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Innocence Is No Excuse * 02 Six Dimensions Of The Electric Camembert * 03 White Lines Of The Freeway * 04 I Don't Remember * 05 Another Grasshoppers Holiday * 06 Wide Awake Dreams And Sleepwalking Nightmares * 07 The Wink Of An Eye * 08 Once I Had A Name For This One * 09 Destination Las Vegas (bonus) * 10 Untitled (Acordion Doodling)


With this oddly titled release being the band's sixth studio album, those acquainted with the Scandinavian rock scene will no doubt be familiar with all things Five Fifteen, and pay undying devotion to this wonderful record.

But for the uninitiated, first impressions will no doubt leave you wondering why Five Fifteen aren't required to wear straight-jackets. It's an understatement to suggest that Five Fifteen don't exactly occupy the same territory as those other famous Scandinavian exports, Roxette.

They share a melodic trait common to most Scandinavian bands, but their musical jamboree of retro influenced rock, progressive and inventive arrangements and an all-round quirkiness puts them in a completely different league.

Formed in 1987, Five Fifteen apparently owe their name to The Who's rock opera Quadrophenia, but could have easily named themselves so because of the average length of their songs.

There may only be 8 of them on 'Six Dimensions..' but most clock in at around 5 and a half minutes long and contain so much depth, variety and fun, that with each repeated listen, the album gets better and better.

The Songs

The album kicks off with 'Innocence is No Excuse' and is a perfect representation of what Five Fifteen is about - powerful and infectious riffs, work and a great chorus which leads the way for some cool Hammond, keys and brass work.

Like the similarly instantaneous 'I Don't Remember', only one listen is required to leave dinosaur-sized cranial imprints. It also neatly demonstrates the contrasting co-lead vocal blend of Mika Jarvinen and Marika Luiski which gives the band yet another dimension to a sound already bursting at the seams.

The title track demonstrates the flawless musicianship of the rest of the band and is built around a trippy, orbital groove.

The lyrics, as with the rest of the album, are on another level, but are definitely in keeping with the band's generally humorous approach - 'I'm waiting for you in this place/ with my happy and smiling face/ and I know what you are going to do/ eat the camembert from the moon'.

On this evidence, Five Fifteen's live show should be well worth checking out. Five Fifteen certainly wear their Led Zeppelin/Who/Deep Purple (and bizarrely enough, Abba) influences on their sleeve but don't get bogged down in mere plagiarism.

They are creative enough to come up with such gems as the hauntingly hypnotic 'White Lines On The Freeway', and the quirky 'Another Grasshopper's Holiday'.

Perhaps only the bizarre arrangement of 'Wink Of An Eye' - which can only be described as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' on Acid - oversteps the mark a little, because on the whole, 'Six Dimensions..' leaves me with precious little to gripe about.

In Summary

They say there is a fine line between madness and sanity, and any band that can make an album which pays homage to French cheese in the title is either completely insane or incredibly gifted.

But I don't think even a strait-jacket would be enough to stop Five Fifteen making records as diverse, melodic and downright good as 'Six Dimensions Of The Electric Camembert'.

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