The Finnish Punks in the band Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day aren’t exactly the first people to spring to mind when it comes to angry and aggressive music that starts mosh pits. Named after the band’s guitarist and CF afflicted guitarist, all of the members are developmentally challenged 30-somethings either living in group homes or struggling for their own independence.
The songs these guys craft are as punk rock as you can get: odes to frustration at not being treated equally and tirades against a system that doesn’t give a damn about them. Their problems are so astoundingly universal and their musical style is so tight that it’s easy to see these people as the extraordinary human beings they are. Even better, each has their own distinct personality, including a politically active bassist, a loose cannon lead singer with a loving girlfriend, and just about the sweetest drummer ever.
The Punk Syndrome could use a bit more insight into how the band got started and how they all got into punk. The band’s able bodied managers and handlers are seen and heard from, but no actual context is given from them. It also feels fleetingly exploitative how the band’s managers treat the band’s touring and practice schedule, but that’s something directors Jukka Karkkainen and J-P Passi have little interest in delving into. Still, as a profile of a band and a fight against the stigma of disability, this film rocks.