Published July 14, 2006
For an album bearing Iceland’s identifying hallmarks as its title, Reykjavík!’s debut is surprisingly un-Icelandic, especially in its frenetic and swerving mood swings and crackling, yet minimal energy, making fast trademarks of alienated, ironic mockery, twangy, harried guitars and the hellish croaks that are Bóas’s vocals. The dizzying and malicious desperation of stunners Blame It On Gray, All Those Beautiful Boys and Dragonsmell are pure irreverent genius, and the album itself has a well-rounded balance of unpredictability and solid, decisive direction. Reykjavík!’s tour through the weirdness of their own minds drifts off-course only to make room for the misguided hi-hat-fuelled hipness of songs like 7-9-13, Marlboro Friday and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and the near-impossible difficulty of packaging Reykjavík!’s manic live performance on record. And, speaking of packages, Brynhildur Þorgeirsdóttir’s cover photograph is a slice of satirical and surreal brilliance, by far the best thing to grace an Icelandic album cover in recent years. SE
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