I can say one thing about Tuple’s ‘Wooden Box’, this is ‘good’, surprisingly good.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Wooden Box
LABEL: AOR Heaven
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Finland
LINEUP: Tommi ‘Tuple’ Salmela – vocals * Tom Rask – drums * Riitis – guitars, keyboards, loops * Pate Kivinen – hammond organ * JykГ¤ Sirainen – bass
Additional Musicians: Erkka Korhonen (Dark Sarah), Pepe Sedergren, (Reckless Love), Zachary Hietala (Tarot), Sande Kallio (Amorphis), Janne Tolsa (Turmion Katilt, Tarot), Marko Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Wooden Box * 02 Demon Alcohol * 03 Together * 04 Fucking Beautiful * 05 Kryptonite * 06 In These Attitudes * 07 Too Far Gone * 08 Miracle * 09 Get With The Program * 10 Rocking Chair * 11 Pretty Much Perfect
WEBLINKS: FB Page
I’m not really sure how to pronounce his nickname and artist title. Is it Tuple (too-play), or toople, or maybe perhaps too-pillay? Whatever the verdict is, I can say one thing about ‘Wooden Box’, this is ‘good’. Surprisingly good. Yes, it’s taken me ages to get to writing this album up, along with many others. Even in COVID times and Lockdowns, I still work in a paid job, Glory Daze is a hobby over these winter months down under.
From Finland, what can I tell you about Tuple? Well his real name is Tommi Salmela, and his most notable gig going back in time was as lead singer of the classic Finnish metal band Tarot (a band previously featured here at Glory Daze) though his tenure with them didn’t start until 2006. He also pulls triple duty with the bands Lazy Bonez and Raskasta Joulua.
‘Wooden Box’ is less about metal, and more about a hard rock/AOR combo, and though his vocals are not in the same league as Steve Perry (to be honest, who’s voice is?), there is enough character in his tone to suggest that Journey along with many other 80’s favourites have helped pave his path right up until this point.
‘Wooden Box’ it would seem is like an auto-biography of Tuple’s life, which has been described in the pre-release bio-notes as a bit of a roller-coaster. That might sound a bit melodramatic, but the songs represented here should find the middle ground easily for die-hard melodic rockers. And for what it’s worth, I’m loving much of it. Just about every track is laden with great choruses and tasty guitar solo spots, and therein lies its major appeal.
The opening title track is full of spoken word narration, crackly old-style radio static, before the synths kick in big time. ‘Wooden Box’ might seem like a song about reflection (like opening up an old box full of childhood treasures), though you won’t be thinking that as the guitar solo sails over your head.
‘Demon Alcohol’.. Well you can guess what this song is about. It can affect people in different ways, and no doubt it has in this case. This is a biographical album after all, so kudos to Tuple for sharing his experiences, whether good or bad. The melodies flow on the terrific ‘Together’, this one is very easy on the ear, not so much of an all-out rocker, but more of a modern arrangement with a good mix of guitars and synth patterns.
Following that slice of excellence is the equally compelling ‘Fucking Beautiful’, another high-tide moment on the album. Like the previous song before it, this one flows easily, and along with the challenging song-title, the chorus sticks like superglue. FB indeed, and we’re not talking Facebook.
‘Kryptonite’ might have you comparing Tuple to recent bands like Creye or One Desire such is the melodic collision going on here. ‘In These Attitudes’ lifts the tempo to a new level, plenty of AOR elements to be found within. ‘Too Far Gone’ takes the tempo to sprinters level while keeping the melodic quotient at the upper level. Again, another chorus which will have you humming long after the CD has been put back into its case.
‘Miracle’ is Tuple’s Journey moment, and a good one it is too, topped by a cavalcade of keyboards that would even overwhelm Jonathan Cain! Any track that mentions the movie character Captain Jack Sparrow gets my vote. ‘Get With The Program’ is a case in point. You gotta check out the lyrics to understand what Tommi is all about.
‘Rocking Chair’ with its trademark Scandi synth overdose is complimented by tough vocals, and though the lyric is more contemplation about looking at life through the comfort of a rockin’ chair, this is not a melancholy affair. Heck no, gung-ho all the way. The album finishes up with the ballad ‘Pretty Much Perfect’. Piano mostly for the first part though it does pick up with electric guitar parts through to the end.
A good cross section of tunes, and I found this more appealing than the recent output from Frontiers for instance. Less cookie cutter and repetitive. I should mention, the guest list is very impressive, with mates from bands such as the aforementioned Tarot, Dark Sarah, Nightwish and Sonata Arctica turning up to play. As mentioned, the choruses, guitar solo spots and overall attention to detail on the arrangements gets a two-thumbs up from me.