Published July 11, 2008
Hraun have taken a fair bit of stick from various corners of the Icelandic press. The issue most have with the band is that they aren’t trying to be different or unique and this often arouses an instant, and sometimes legitimate, form of musical snobbery. Does ‘Silent Treatment’ change this view or is it more of the same? By the very nature of their musical genre, the answer is obvious.
The strongest track shares the same title as the album. Starting with a gentle intro, featuring front man Svavar’s warm voice and organ accompaniment, ‘Silent Treatment’ builds a pretty picture with a female vocalist and a clarinet adding pleasing complexity to a fine composition. Ironic, then, that the next one, ‘Happy Song’, is the worst on the record. The other eight tracks sit somewhere between the two extremes but you could imagine ‘Thunderball’ going down an absolute storm after a session on the Brennivin.
Maybe Hraun, a band who can be genuinely good when seen live, are the Brennivin of music – some laugh at anyone who tries a bit, some lap it up as it can be pretty nice, and to others it’s just a mildly pleasant winter warmer.
- Verdict: Flawed in places, but distinctly listenable if you like inoffensive, slick pop rock.
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