Tampere, Finland’s Punees don’t need concrete imagery to make great songs. “Eyebombs,” their most recent single, depicts beasts, monsters, and ghosts against a wiry barrage of eighth-note guitar chords. The contrast between the song’s unignorable, minor-key but not quite melancholic stomp and the abstractions of its lyrics make for a thrilling garage rock anthem that’s equally seething, comforting, and mysterious.
“You stare again that waste of time/Awake/Just turn around/There’s a real-life beast with you,” sings Punees frontman Velli (the band doesn’t list members’ last names) in the song’s first verse, as guitar chords whose high notes blare like fire alarms dominate the sonic fray. These high notes endow “Eyebombs” with sunlight despite its minor-key dissonance, and Velli’s lyrics depict the sort of enigmatic presence that could sneak into Bird Box without raising any eyebrows (though these eyebrows would be hidden under blindfolds anyway).
The musical motif of “Eyebombs” remains excitingly consistent throughout its runtime, until a bridge appears with about a minute left in the song. This section begins with a transition marked by some frayed guitar noise and a gruff shout from Velli, which leads to a brooding, sparser section that shuffles through a handful of dissonant, sustained guitar chords. As drummer Mika keeps a steady beat, Velli and his fellow guitarist Minni gradually climb back from their unsettling pit towards the song’s original chorus, culminating in a static gulp that closes the song ominously.
In the final minute of “Eyebombs,” Velli fixates on oscillation and escalation, two concepts that don’t quite go hand in hand. Oscillation describes a back-and-forth motion between two states, whereas escalation describes a continuous motion towards one state away from the other. This lyrical choice is yet another move through which Punees cultivate ambiguity on “Eyebombs,” a gripping, punk-adjacent song that makes a great case for letting the mystery be.