Something of a legend on the Reykjavík scene since the punk era, Mike Pollock seems to stake his claim as king of the blues too, as he rambles around from Congo Square to Amsterdam, searching for love or whiskey. “Walking” and “Searching” set the tone while “You tore me up but you won’t tear me down” is as good a breakup/hangover statement as any. The original tracks stand their ground, but the album peaks midway through with a groggy rendition of “Voodoo Chile,” followed by the Megas’ collaboration “Mary” and a slow, wistful spin on his own classic “It’s A Shame,” which was last heard 30 years ago with his punk group Utangarðsmenn. After all the sadness and desperation rendered by an outsider who has given his life to rock and roll, the old chestnut “Sunnyside” provides welcome relief at the end. Even if the packaging might seem a bit homemade, this is well worth the price of admission. Mike is truly timeless.
‘If You Think This Is About You… You’re Right,’ the debut album from local band Different Turns, tries to infuse a bit of electronic wibbling into classic alt-rock guitar moves. And listening to it, it’s plain to see that they’re more than capable of making some really good tunes. Tracks like “Erotomania” glide along with a sleek hand in the production stakes, while “Out Of My Mind” makes a decent stab (this is a recurring theme in the album) at deep down country. The best tune, “High Hopes,” is a piece of guitar pop that could easily be slotted between the
At the end of April, Ben Frost held a concert in a packed Kaffibarinn to premiere the music from his new album ‘A U R O R A.’ To say that the atmosphere was intense in that tiny confined space would be putting it mildly, to say the least. With Greg Fox and Shahzad Ismaily on drums and percussion, Frost made the whole bar throb as the music built in volume and pressure until it almost became physical to touch. It was claustrophobic and confrontational, yet strangely alluring. The people who were nodding with Zen-like serenity in front of
If you think Kings of Leon, the Black Keys and the White Stripes are all purveyors of derivative trash, then there’s a new purveyor on the scene for you to hate. If, on the other hand, you think they’re refreshingly straightforward examples of what God intended for mankind when he invented the electric guitar, then rejoice, because the boys of Kaleo do it similarly, and they do it very, very well. Though the band’s debut album plays things mostly safe, it also makes its larger-than-life ambitions crystal clear, straddling the fence between lo-fi garage and grandiose arena rock so intimately
‘My Brain,’ the crowdsourced debut EP from singer/songwriter Adda (AKA Arnþrúður Ingólfsdóttir), is a wonderfully austere, haunting body of folk songs. Playing fingerpicked acoustic guitar, Adda sings a lot about her turbulent mind (referring to her brain as a third person entity), as if she were in a passionate relationship with a partner. With all the highs and lows it entails, the intensity and emotional gravity of such feelings reverberate in Adda’s voice (with accompaniment from her sister Sunna). The rising, sustained two-note harmonies on “Taking Off,” for example, set your arm hairs on edge. Adda has in the past
It should be noted that when you first play ‘Höfuðsynd,’ the debut album from new band Atónal Blús, you quickly realise that despite the cool name, that they’re not really Arnold Schoenberg does John Lee Hooker. But that’s not to dispute that there’s some avant-garde tinkering at play here. The opening track, “Atónal Blús,” is a murky, buzzing, discoloured breakdown of a song that comes closest to the atonal aesthetic implied of the band’s name. From there it settles down into a spot-welded blend of heaving psych-inflected rock and interesting rhythmic patterns that could be seen as a little bit
Just Another Snake Cult’s ‘Cupid Makes A Fool Of Me’ could be described as a concept album on the theme of love. But if the very idea of such a thing is enough to make you run for the hills, stop and think twice, because it’s also something of an opus. For anyone interested in psych, lo-fi, prog-rock and acid-pop, this album has a lot to offer. If you’re into Joe Meek, Phil Spector and Syd Barrett or more recent revivalists and trailblazers like Ariel Pink, Future Islands, John Maus or Bradford Cox, ‘Cupid Makes A Fool Of Me’ is