Published August 15, 2012
Complexity and experimentalism in rock and pop are to be enjoyed if done with the right level of panache and care (Can, Radiohead, Ariel Pink and Sparks, are the first to spring to mind). And Múgsefjun, on their self-titled second album, employ numerous musical styles and rhythms, from plastic tango twists to Dikta-style tub thumpers, often on the same song.
However, many of the song components on ‘Múgsefjun’ don’t flow smoothly together, bolted with stylistic bells and whistles that don’t add much to the songs themselves. “Þórðargleði” has an interesting guitar riff that is plastered with jerky little interludes, while “Svona fer fyrir þeim sem eru fyrir” actually has a lovely slow burning intro, before changing its tone and mood so many times that you just give up on it in the end.
These guys are obviously talented musicians who know their way around their instruments. And they can make nice tunes, from the uplifting melody lines in “Sendlingur og sandlóa” to the ‘70s piano punching soft rock of “Sitjum og bíðum.” But the feeling you get from ‘Múgsefjun’ is not one of new areas of pop being explored, but that of an exercise in finicky craft, giving the impression that they’re merely showing off their proficiency.