FIVE ICELANDIC PUNK BANDS TO SEEK OUT!
You know all those horrible bands of middle-aged men playing what sounds like a distant memory of hearing a Sex Pistols single on the radio back in 1977? Örkuml sounded almost like a deliberate attempt at exactly that, mixed with some Crass records darkness and a B-movie sense of humour. Yet, somehow, they were great!
It’s been a while since I fell out of love with melodic or dramatic crust/d-beat but Hryðjuverk is one of the few bands that I still love. They were ferocious and fast, and to this day their songs sound like a punch in the face.
Everybody loves ‘Rokk í Reykjavík’, but Jonee Jonee never seem to have gotten their share of that love. They were weird and exciting. Not having any guitars created a lot of space, which they used aggressively. Their LP is easy to find second hand and fairly priced. Buy it!
Kælan mikla are sparse, intensely theatrical and darkly atmospheric. Their older songs sound like nothing I’ve ever heard, really. Maybe like a gothic K Records band or something. I don’t know. Their newer material is more straightforward cold-wave/synth-punk, but the songs are even better than before, which kind of justifies them not being quite as weird anymore.
Maybe it’s stupid to include a band that only released a single badly recorded CD-R demo eight years ago, that I honestly can’t imagine how anyone could find a copy of. Brat Pack sounded like early Black Flag with D.C. hardcore’s melodic sensibilities. They were a complete mess and the demo sounds like everything’s just falling apart. An incredible band.
FIVE NON-ICELANDIC PUNK BANDS TO SEEK OUT!
Good Throb (UK)
I went on a few UK tours with my friends’ hardcore bands around ten years ago. I remember London being a shit city with shit punk bands. Now London seems full of amazing bands. Maybe there was always amazing punk, and I was just never exposed to it. Anyway, Good Throb sound like Kleenex/LiLiPUT songs as played by Crass. They are amazing.
Fierce hardcore from Olympia, WA. Hard-hitting and pissed-off. Lyrics about dealing with transmisogyny and being a freak. Makes you want to punch a hole in something.
Rakta’s songs have death rock vibes but, they’re buried under reverb and allowed to drag on and sometimes groove almost like garage rock. They’re hard to describe, and hard to pinpoint musically. Really, they’re just a great band.
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Muerte remind me of old Finnish hardcore bands like Kaaos. Like d-beat without the d-beat, sporting vocals that sound like they were recorded in a cave. To that, Muerte add a touch of drama and death rock melodies.
Una Bèstia Incontrolable (ES)
Imagine a psych rock version of early Amebix. That’s the closest I can come to describing Una Bèstia Indescribable, really.
Börn Rebels—Won’t Stay Silent And Are Here To Stay
Börn. It means “children.” This wasn’t the original name of the Reykjavík-based death-punk outfit, I’m told. So I ask where it came from. All four members laugh and look at each other expectantly, as if silently working out who is going to spill some juicy beans.