From Iceland — Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Published August 4, 2009

Lost in Translation

I couldn’t believe it; the goddamn front door to Sódóma was closed! I had thought I was an hour late, so I shat myself and ran there, dodged the tourists, hopped over the cats – all trying my best not to vomit whilst doing so.  
    A piece of paper displayed in the window scribbled the line-up for the evening. A pop quiz was about to start at the same time the music was originally proposed to begin – one big middle finger in fat marker pen. So I left to meet some people and nag their ear with complaints.
    On arrival (again) the pop quiz seemed to be drawing to an end. According to my cheap-ass watch, the time was around 10:30, and 10:30 means music time. Half an hour later, the questions I couldn’t understand had finished. I then got into position on the step leading between the bar and the ‘dance floor,’ at this point the room was bleak and empty – a wonderful start to the evening.
    Prince Polo’s freakishly garish laughter down the microphone was a tad unsettling to begin with – one would describe him as more of a fruit basket than a chocolate bar. Donned in a fishing hat and floral jumper, Mr Polo began his comical folk-pop tales intoxicating the ever-increasing audience into a state of hysterical madness.
    Naturally I had no idea what the fuss was all about (and there was a fuss) until I asked my good Icelandic companion to translate. Suddenly there, I got what his deal was – music and lyrical content soaked in sarcasm and booze. Poking fun at his generation and Icelandic generations of yore, or something like that.
    After being blinded by visual obstructions and public displays of affection, it was time to move in closer to where the real action was happening. MIRI always struck me as your average post-rock band with magical melody lines and frantic double picking. Not to say that they weren’t – they do abide the standard guidelines of epic-ness – but also added in party moves and trendy haircuts. Mathy polyrhythms complemented the band’s crisp guitar expressions, keeping the night alive and fairly interesting.
    Arguably the best young rock band in Iceland at the moment, Swords of Chaos, launched into their onslaught of panic-stricken punk around 01:20. My only concern was if Swords of Chaos could fully handle playing in a larger venue than a small café. The answer to that question would be yes. Yes they can.
    Beers flew across the room as singer Úlfur leapt off stage and entwined a vast amount of people with his mic chord like he was herding cattle. Minus a few technical blunders, they once again played a harsh set with zealousness and enjoyment.
    By this point it was on the verge of 02:00, my ears were still ringing from being perched next to the bloody monitor at the front of Sódóma’s stage. A lullaby was certainly in order – thankfully Skakkamanage provided this soothing accompaniment.   
    ‘Super smiling, everything is brilliant’ bubblegum shoe gaze works wonders fluttering in the background during a spring tea party. However, it’s not an ideal sound to listen to whilst you’re freaking bored and slightly vexed in a rock venue.
    Regrettably I must say the final two bands, FM Belfast and Sudden Weather Change, didn’t get my full attention during these wee hours – due to the ridiculous time mix-ups, cock-ups and balls-ups. Which is such a shame as Sudden Weather Change’s honest indie rock and FM Belfast’s synth covered pop are of such a high calibre they deserve full attention.    
    Highlights of the night included MIRI bassist Hjalti facial’s expressions of sexual pleasure during their performance, reminiscent to that of Bill Clinton’s during his controversial years. As well as the ‘bros’ dressed in flannel shirts slam dancing awkwardly on their own to Swords Of Chaos.

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