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The Curse of Singapore Sling

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Album Review

Reykjavik's Singapore Sling has a lot going for it on its debut full-length, The Curse of the Singapore Sling. Sling chief Henrik Bjornsson's songs are marvelously gritty, often glowering tales that recall the shadowy post-punk of Suicide, while at the same time suggesting latter-day outfits like Brian Jonestown Massacre. While Bjornsson deadpans on the mike, Bjarni Johannsson's drums flicker and pop in and out of the frame and the greasy, distorted riffs from no less than three guitars pool on a dirty tile floor. None of the ten songs "rock," per se; rather, they hover in a gauzy threshold, like the static between two FM radio stations. "Overdriver" and "Nuthin' Ain't Bad" are noise pop deconstructions of 1950s teen rebellion rock & roll, while "No Soul Man"'s languid, reverb-drenched guitars duet with sultry, slightly menacing female backing vocals. A shaft of light pierces the song's heavy curtains when its plaintive chorus drifts in. But the sun must have gone behind a cloud, because The Curse Of is back to its stoned and dreary self with the instrumental "Roadkill." In the album's second half, Bjornsson's guitar combines with those of Helgi Petursson and Einar Kristiansson for a black-and-white neo-psychedelic trip. The lyrics are few and the mood is heavy; it's easy to imagine standing next to the lone figure depicted on the album's cover, staring down the two-lane blacktop in search of danger, drugs, or both. The album closes with a spectacular, fuzzed-out ride through the Standells' classic "Dirty Water." "That's where you'll find me," Bjornsson drones. "Along with lovers, buggers, and thieves." Easily the best line in the song, this. Bjornsson knows it; he repeats the couplet four times, drawing out the payoff line. Finally, he mumbles it offhandedly. "Ah, but they're cool people." It's unclear whether Singapore Sling's elongated time frame is due to the bandmembers' craving for mind-altering substances, or a need to pass the time in a country where sheep outnumber people. Either way, it makes for great late-night road trip listening, as the darkness plays tricks with your sleep-addled eyes.

Customer Reviews

it's missing the best song, but....

still worth a buy even without the cover of Dirty Water. Singapore Sling beats The Raveonettes at their own game. Overdriver, Nuthin' Ain't Bad, Roadkill and Listen are great uptempo dirty garage rock while Midnight, No Soul Man, Heart of Chrome and Chantissity change things up to great effect. faves are Midnight, No Soul Man, Roadkill and Heart of Chrome.

I think Singapore Sling fans deserve the the ENTIRE Album

Hushed tones echo the reverence I have for this album. The times that were spent listening to this album were among the most wonderful spent. Golden sepia sweet! If Apple Computers was able to settle things with the Beatles, then why can't they get this figured!?!


Formed: 2000 in Rejkyavik, Iceland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Singapore Sling formed in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2000 around the eight-tracked material of Sling chief Henrik Bjornsson. Together with guitarists Helgi Petursson and Einar Kristjansson, maraca player Siggi Shaker, bassist Toggi Guðmundsson, and drummer Bjarni Johannsson, Bjornsson fleshed out his glowering, gritty songs, which drew inspiration from the Velvet Underground and the shadowy post-punk of Suicide, as well as latter-day groups like the Jesus & Mary Chain and the Brian Jonestown Massacre....
Full Bio
The Curse of Singapore Sling, Singapore Sling
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