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Halldor Laxness

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Album Review

While Minus' Halldor Laxness isn't a particularly good record as far as the genre of 20-somethings working the punk-metal crossover in the early 21st century go, it's more creative and less clichéd than many of its rivals. While average, grungy metal-punk with grinding, sometimes bleak, chord progressions provides the foundation, there's also some psychedelic swirl to the sonics at times. Singer "Krummi" (aka Katie Jane Garside) eschews the usual growl'n'grunt of the style for a more normal, straining, alternative rock voice; mixing confidence and confusion. The songs are infused with much of the youthful torment that suffuses such bands, but these guys sport a higher quotient of defiance and a lower quotient of nihilistic rage. The dehumanizing effects of drugs come in for their share of comment, explicitly in "My Name Is Cocaine," and less blatantly in the sound of an "elevator Prozac going insane" in "Here Comes the Night." At times they hint at breaking through the boundaries of their niche, with "The Long Face" approaching more conventional, anxious, mainstream rock, and "Insomniac" admitting some funk into the beat.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Reykjavik, Iceland

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Forming in 1998 while its members were still in their teens, Iceland's Minus quickly began turning heads among the local hardcore scene with brutal sounds and an incendiary live show. Comprised of vocalist Krummi, drummer Bjossi, bassist Johnny, and guitarists Frosti and Bjarni, the five-piece got their start wanting to simply make "disgusting music." Their debut, Hey Johnny!, appeared a year later as a raucous mix of post-hardcore sung in their native Icelandic. The band made the switch to English...
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Halldor Laxness, Minus
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