During my uneventful trek to Kaffi Hljómalind, my hardcore-dar was expecting the very worst surrounding this evening, due to a number of reasons. Upon arrival, my doubts were initially confirmed. Hljómalind had turned itself into a fashion parade, fake geek glasses galore.
You see, back in the UK, middle age ‘dudes’ with dreadlocks, vomit stained Fred Perry T-shirts, combat shorts and terrible bodily odour make up the general crowd at shows. But here in Reykjavík, I’ve noticed that the punk scene is a very different kettle of dried fish (or tofu for the straight edged amongst you) as skinny jeans, chai tea and even sweets were the staple diet for a show in 101.
This is fucking punk rock, where are the piss-splattered floors and drunkards? Hljómalind looks like a swanky pullout from a fresh Ikea catalogue. It’s way too clean!
But hold up a second I say. As soon as first band Swords of Chaos began their spazzy explosion of guitar tones, my belief in the Icelandic hardcore scene completely swung quickly around (in a similar way you would perform say, a windmill).
Man, these devoted kids of Iceland went insane. Not like Michael Jackson insane, but like CHARLES MANSON insane! You could just taste their blood thirst, their passion and their damn right enjoyment for this cause – said cause being the representation of a doomed generation, living amongst financial crises and political uncertainty. A youthful voice screaming: “love your friends…die laughing!” at the top of their lungs.
The palette of the evening got very dark and very fast. Logn brought the crust from a Nordic perspective and Manslaughter brought the grind, sounding like a fresh-faced Napalm Death. Oh and the modest The Best Hardcore Band In The World brought the umm, hardcore.
A glorious introduction into something incredible. No colossal egos and no tough guy attitudes. They way punk should be.