Have You Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? – Jazzbelle 1984/1988 

HYSTJFVHS? - Jazzbelle 1984/1988
Release Date: Out Now

OK, OK, OK. I think we can pretty much close off the entries for band name of the year – Finland have nailed it. That’s right, Finnish trio Have You Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? have brought their A-Game name wise and their album ‘Jazzbelle 1984/1988’ is equally impressive/bonkers depending on your vantage point. I mean, let’s face it, any album that opens with a track called ‘Magic Swimming Pants’ is going to be fun right? The keys, fuzz and drums romp that opens this collection feels like Bis cover the Wannadies and if you aren’t excited by that then I’m done with you. Seriously, get out.

‘Eggs’ keeps the energy levels up with a trumpet and organ duel and some riot girl attitude while ‘The Heman Song’ is likely to be a cult hit in Japan with it’s Hives meets the Lovely Eggs rough’n’ready melodies that just won’t quit. On ‘Corazone’ the melody hits me with a Holy City Rollers vibe and some dEUS sized fun but then ‘Sheep’ goes all Lush meets St Etienne on our asses and the love affair just keeps on going. There’s no time to stop and pick this apart in any meaningful way, you just have to strap yourself in, keep your arms outside the car and enjoy the ride. But then there’s ‘Teeth’. ‘Teeth’ opens with a drone that sounds like an outer-Hebridean folk festival is just getting in to gear before a Oi-punk tune emerges from the camp fire to smash the acoustic guitars and burn the beards of our faces with incendiary organs and blistering drums.

Have You Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?
The organ melody on ‘Mareride’ is hooky beyond anything that is reasonable while the vocals and fuzzy bass of Susse Stemma-Sihvola are straight out of an 80s suburban LA garage. ‘Hanky Panky’ has a beautifully bratty feel to it as though it’s some French Art-punk piece from the 70s while ‘What Would Phil Dunphy Do?’ combines stabbing organs, breathless vocals and my favourite TV Real Estate Agent which is not an easy call. ‘Bambi Act’ feels like it could have been used in the climactic montage chase scene of some ADHD inspired kid’s TV show and the album closes out on ‘Period’ which emerges from the basement like the transformed geek in full homecoming queen garb – this is the most commercial of the tunes with it’s catchy horns and sultry vocals so if you’re needing something on the entry level then go for this. All in all, this is bonkers, breathless and wondrous – unlike anything I’ve heard since I first discovered Metal Molly’s ‘Surgery for Zebra’ and that was back in 1995 so well after Fonda’s peak. Brilliant stuff.

Live Dates:

2nd February – Bar Downtown, Kouvola
3rd February – Kuudes Linja, Helsinki

9th March – Dynamo, Turku