The Biography of Penniless (Finland)
Ossi Alisaari (vocals, guitars)
Pekka Alisaari (guitars)
Lasse Alisaari (drums)
Mikko Pere (guitars)
Kimmo Kurittu (bass guitars)
The band was formed in Nakkila, a small town on the Finnish west coast,
some twenty years ago. In 1998 the youngest of the Alisaari brothers,
Ossi, joined the lineup and since then Penniless has been a famous five of
Finnish alternative music, indie rock and power pop.
Before Ossi came along Penniless was known as Penniless People Of
Bulgaria, and often compared to such names as Pixies and Hüsker Dü. Later
on, when Ossi was already there and bit by bit getting used to the lead
vocals, Weezer was another usual name dropping thing.
As the leading rock journalist in Finland, Ilkka Mattila, has put it:
“their typically Finnish pithy approach and warped sense of humour make
Penniless a unique band”. This is still true, even if the quality and
colour of humour has changed through the years.
Ossi did not only make Penniless younger and change the vocal landscapes
of the band with his strong role as lead singer. He has also grown to be
the many sided man behind the music of Penniless.
For the moment Penniless has published all in all ten albums. And there
will surely be more of their stuff to come. A Cab to the City (2010) and
Rows of Houses (2013) are the latest pair of Penniless albums and by far
the top of the crop. With Ossi in front on many different levels, the
music has become wider, deeper, more Penniless. Music with a distinctive
own voice and tone.
This development is something which critics nowadays point out.
Comparisons with other artists is not important, any more. Penniless is
Penniless, the name to be referred to if wanted.
When asked to describe the fresh album, Rows of Houses, Ossi once wrote:
“These songs were arranged and partly recorded while watching the
beautiful sunrises and sunsets at a summer cottage by the shore of a
hidden sacred lake. If you listen close you can almost hear the swans
taking off from the bank of the lake. Or maybe you can hear five sweaty
guys laughing their heads off in the sauna. Anyway, this might be the most
complex record from Penniless so far. The album is made of slowed down
sadness, speeded up aggression, hopelessness, hopefulness, daydreams, bad
dreams, flowers, blood, humor, tears, laughter, friendship, love, fears
There’s really no need to add a single word to that. “…And This I Know For
Penniless album catalogue;
AS Penniless People Of Bulgaria
(Pekka Alisaari v & g, Mikko Pere g, Kimmo Kurittu b, Lasse Alisaari d)
– Cake (1993)
– Mould (1994)
– Velocity (1996)
(Ossi Alisaari v & g, Pekka Alisaari v & g, Mikko Pere g, Kimmo Kurittu b, Lasse Alisaari d)
– Joe (1998)
– Anola (2001)
– All Good Things Come To Those Who Wait (2004)
– The Attraction (2007)
– A Cab to the City (2010)
– Rows of Houses (2013)
*) Finnish Rockumentary 1999