The bill tonight is an odd one. Mínus have enlisted not a single metal
or hardcore act to support them, hoping rather to draw a diverse crowd
with the aid of rock duet DLX/ATX and electro champion Biogen.
As I walk in the door, the soundtrack is that of three AM at a Nasa
filled with sweaty, neon, glowstick-touting revellers, all hopped up on
goofballs. I assume that the sounds are coming from a playlist between
bands setting up, but people are watching the stage intently. Turns out
Biogen’s set is in full effect, and it is him jumping around on stage
that the audience is focused on.
His music is downright insane. Powerful and progressive stuff yes,
but at a far too early an hour. Better had he come on after Mínus to
lead the crowd dancing deep into the drunken maw of the late night.
King narcissist vs. the hardcore hopefuls
Although Mínus should long since ago have lost their status as kings of
the local metal and hardcore scene (via their lack of quality output in
recent years), it is via the shortage of worthy successors that the band
somewhat triumphantly takes the stage tonight in front of a crowd.
Mínus is a band in constant development—or progression, as the
members would have it. What once was a part of the birth of the
metalcore genre fast evolved into a groundbreaking noisecore unit of
untold progressive measure, only to be replaced, first with a criminally
catchy rock incarnation, and ultimately with a mere shadow of its
former glory through a record that aspired only to mediocrity.
With a fairly newfangled line-up, one yet to prove itself on record,
Mínus still retain the extremely talented backbone of string bender
Bjarni and drum pounding virtuoso Bjössi. After a long absence from the
stage, the band is debuting brand new songwriting efforts tonight,
probably aiming to regain the critical acclaim they had until the
creative flop of their latest album, The Great Northern Whale Kill.
King narcissist and raging front man Krummi enters the stage with
promises of a career spanning set, and among the hardcore hopefuls a
spark of anticipation ignites. Although not claiming encyclopaedic
knowledge of Mínus song titles, I find the track mix quite potent, yet,
as customary, a bit light on Jesus Christ Bobby era material in favour
of popular classics off of the seminal Halldór Laxness album, which
garnered heavy airplay in its heyday.
Stand and deliver
On stage, Mínus never fail to deliver. As the first measures of musical
mayhem burst out of their Marshall stacks, the crowd immediately erupts
into an unhinged melee of a pit. As bodies pinball off of each other and
onto the stage, Krummi goes through something of a personal catharsis,
where tortured wails give way to clean singing and even a few growls.
But, as the fresh songs are introduced into set, the chaos subsides,
perhaps due to physical burn out, or because most of the new material
is somewhat ill suited for spazzing the fuck out.
The band’s promises of not including a single chugga-chugga riff on
their upcoming album seem have been a songwriting mantra. Some of the
new reeks of obnoxious pretence to the tune of a miniature synthesizer,
other tracks strike dark ominous chords that grab desperate hold of the
listener, as yet others dwell on tedious tribal drum patterns far too
Still, grating aural faux pas notwithstanding, Mínus fucking
explode. Bjössi mounts his drum stool between songs, egging the audience
on with his head in the rafters while Bjarni swings his axe and Krummi
goes all apoplectic with their lanky young bass player getting his rocks
off to the tune of the very same musical masterpieces that echoed off
of the walls of his teenage bedroom.
As the hour long plus set draws to a dreaded close, the audience
joins in chorus of demand for more, and true to form, Mínus oblige.
First with their biggest hit to date, The Long Face, and then
showstopper Kolkrabbinn. That done, hardcore kids and curious hipsters
alike walked away all sweaty and content.
Missed that awesome Mínus show at Batteríið? Not to worry – they’re
throwing another bash at Sódóma on Saturday April 10th, backed by the
legendary Godkrist. It’s a must-see!
- Concert Mínus, Biogen, DLX/ATX at Batteríið, March 19th 2010
Book your day tours in Iceland right here!