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Review
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Mike Pollock: Universal Routes

Published August 29, 2012

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.


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