Owen Barritt (hmmm_tea) wrote,
Owen Barritt

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When the revolution takes place I'll be late and I'll be shot as a traitor

So, time for icelandic pop. The next CD in the pile is the Sugarcubes 1988 debut album "Life's Too Good". Given the number of divorces and remarriages after it's release and the tensions that eventually led to the bands breakup, it clearly it must have been.

The music of the Sugarcubes may have been heavily overshadowed by the solo work of Bjork, but if you're not familiar with them they are well worth a look. While Bjork's solo stuff was far more dance influenced, the Sugarcubes sees the same distinctive vocal style in a more rock-based situation. There is something strangely reminiscient of early B-52s in the result and it's certainly just as eccentric.

That said, Bjork does share the vocals with Einar Benediktsson. While Benediktsson's vocals are more simplistic, being little more than just spoken word, they contrast well with Bjork's. The opening track "Traitor", features Benediktsson taking the main vocals with Bjork providing more abstract backing vocals, which results in one of the strongest tracks on the whole album.

Other highlights of the album include Motorcrash, a cheerful little number about someone witnessing a motor accident and taking one of the victims home with her; Birthday, the single that got the band recognition outside Iceland, particularly from John Peel; Deus, one of the more eccentric ways to declare God doesn't exist; and F***ing in Rhythm & Sorrow, which sees them at their most eccentric lyrically having the style of a caberet song, but about a woman finding a naked man in her flat. The hidden track, Taktu Bensín Elskan, which is sung entirely in Icelandic, is also worth a listen.

As a taster, here's the video of Motorcrash

(Direct link)
Tags: contemporary, music, reviews

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