From Iceland — Faktorý - Thursday

Faktorý – Thursday

Published October 15, 2010

Photo by Hördur Sveinsson

The women in the crowd were probably heart-warmed by the singer’s shirtless antics; Cities Between Us perhaps makes up for their stale, uninspired barrage of longhaired cock rock with a vigorous stage presence. Though they could have done without the on-stage beer-bong before they delved into a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. At that point the awe-inspiringly awkward machismo was a bit too much to bear. Do we really need another sweaty blurting-out of that song? The band seemed to please the small crowd, though Cities Between Us might as well have been what would constitute as a really good AC/DC cover band. But they’re not, of course. Maybe a fresh-faced interpretation of the hard rock of yore, complete with flesh appendages.
Bróðir Svartúlfs were the winners of 2009’s “Músiktilraunir”, an Icelandic ‘Battle Of The Bands’ of sorts. Their sound is characterized by melancholy keyboard sweeps and somewhat generic bass and guitar, though the rapped vocals suit the decent drumming (the drummer’s wearing of a chicken suit perhaps brightened someone’s day). They ranged from sounds that could be designated as an Icelandic parallel to Linkin Park, but at times there were bursts of imaginative riffs and melodies that went fairly well with the rapid chants and raps of the singer. All in all, a fun band though they could do much better.
The six-man band of rapper Poetrix played some more straightforward rock with rapped vocals. They covered a lot of genres; classic rock, funk and even some reggae. The front man’s vocals were wholly unintelligible through his live band’s playing so their largely sterile and unimaginative set couldn’t really be redeemed by the lyrics (which some say hip-hop is pretty much about, though that is open for discussion).
Next up are Polipe, from Montréal, Canada. They start out with flanging and bright guitar soundscapes accompanied by French lyrics. Their psych pop is reminiscent of ‘60s West Coast psychedelia or Brazilian tropicalia. It was refreshing to see Polipe seeing as the night had been relatively yawn-inspiring. They definitely caught the crowd’s attention with their warm, funky melodies and light-hearted tone scale surfing. It felt like summer all over again. Their music also incited dancing.
Yunioshi brought happy rock ‘n’ roll from Britain. One would expect that they should have filled the dance floor with their tight percussion and alarming synths, but for some reason a lot of people had left the venue, so it was not as densely populated as it was before. Yunioshi still had the power to rock one’s socks off with their upbeat sounds straight out of Nottingham, self-described as “Robot-Funk-Shit.”
Next up were Film. If you’ve for some reason been looking for your ideal Greek post-punk band, this is it. Heavy bass licks and slaps a la The Pop Group and thick sonic attacks, complete with superb singing and an intense stage presence. Makes you think of a more bleak sounding Aphrodite’s Child-era Vangelis and reassures you that Greece is still churning out good music. Cause they’re all about being the birthplace of Western civilization and stuff.

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