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Modern Day Citizen is a fairly fresh band hailing from Turku, Finland. They play heavier rock influenced by alternative / progressive metal, spiced with an attitude to fill a huge stage. Certainly a bigger stage than the one in Klubi, Turku, where they played their debut album release party gig (read the review here ). Although it has to be said that for a new(ish) band, the Klubi stage is probably the “dream one” in Turku, the one every aspiring band wants to conquer.
But to get to the gig, I have to first take several steps back and make a note of a few bits of my personal past. And it all begins with my little brother. Back in the days of elementary and junior high school he had a friend. A scrawny little rascal called Mikko. (from the the older sister´s point of view – older by a remarkable four years – it made all the difference back then…) My brother and he used to come over to our house quite a bit, and even though I don’t recall much of what they did (probably played a lot of Nintendo), I do remember Mikko’s grinning face. I do also have a vague recollection of hearing that Mikko had gotten a guitar and started playing it when he was quite young, but I don’t think I paid much attention to the fact.
Probably should’ve. Because that scrawny little Mikko is now the quite grown-up vocalist of the band Modern Day Citizen – and he’s still got this grin! Getting over the fact that he is not a teenager anymore was a bit of a challenge, when I went to Klubi to listen to MDC’s gig. But I suppose the feeling was somewhat mutual, as I chatted a while with Mikko before they got on stage.
He remembers me as the, well, somewhat uptight big sister of his friend, a sister who refused to borrow him two cassettes of music at once. He recalled, laughing, that I had insisted he return the first cassette before I gave him the other one… Hahahah! First of all, I had no memory of anything like this happening, nor of the fact that the cassettes were apparently stuff like “Smash Hits Vol X”, with MC Hammer and the like. I owned stuff like that? Well, aren’t I glad Mikko got into heavier rock eventually…
MDC’s current line up has been playing together since 2009. During this time they’ve gotten air time on several main radio stations in Finland (YleX, Radio Rock) and even been on the Top 5 (out of about 800 participating bands) in the Radio Rock Starba -competition in 2010. When I asked Mikko how he ended up singing for this band, he told me that he had previously done some back-up vocals for another band, and when he heard MDC was looking for a singer, he was interested – and eventually got the post on the first try. Things clicked in place and even though he’s played guitar and bass in other projects, MDC’s vocals suit him just fine.
MDC had two bands sharing the stage with them that night, The Chant (photo) and Oddland. I managed to hear a bit of The Chant’s set and it sounded very interesting, I may have to find out more about them later. Oddland unfortunately played after MDC, and I didn’t have time to stay for it.
But MDC had the place rocking hard on their turn. The band played sharply and smoothly together, with the bass lines and drums shaking the audience’s insides, guitars hitting all the sweet spots and Mikko’s energetic performance adding to the overall good vibes radiating from the stage – this band is ready for bigger venues.
In the beginning of the gig I noticed Mikko seemed to have some problems with his monitor, but it didn’t seem to slow him down at all. His vocal range was rather impressive live, he sounds equally at ease with the growling, menacing parts of the songs as he is with the more power metal-like singing and the rare quieter parts.
Vocals are without a doubt one strength of the band. With four of the five members of the band singing (both guitarists and the bassist all do back-up vocals), there’s really no risk of MDC sounding thin or weak.
All in all the album release gig is a raging success. The audience participates with much gusto, some even know the lyrics well enough to sing along. After the gig I (and my brother) leave the venue feeling really good. We will hear of this band in the future. They have solid material to play, they have the energy and the skills to entertain.
Modern Day Citizen are:
Mikko Rannikko – vocals
Harley Bergroth – guitar
Jaakko Suominen – guitar
Ismo Huoponen – bass
Henri Sund – drums
+ photos: Johanna Ahonen, transl. S.Mahrer
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