There are a few new bands / artists that we've been meaning to feature who appeared at the Iceland Airwaves festival a few weeks back, and we will get to them eventually - EP and Album releases will start to quieten down leading up to Christmas, and we'll write some introductions before we think about our Album Of The Year for 2016. Rythmatik, however, are a young Icelandic band who not only appeared at Airwaves but also have an EP out, and I've been enjoying listening to it for the last couple of weeks.
Rythmatik are a 4 piece band, and they came to prominence after winning the 2015 Iceland 'Battle of the Bands - Músíktilraunir'. Previous winners of the competition include Agent Fresco, Of Monsters, Mammút and Samaris (to name just a few...), so it has a real pedigree in identifying great new acts. And listening, as I have done, to some of the Artists who competed last year is real proof of the rich talent still coming through the Icelandic music scene. Rythmatik, who hail from the towns of Suðureyri and Akureyri (in the North West and North of Iceland, must have put on some great performances.
Anyway, to the music, and there is a traditional reliance here on big guitars, high tempo rhythms and a real natural energy that carries the songs along. 'Waves' has a great guitar line to open, strong melody and the track builds in intensity thanks to a dynamic instrumental section in the middle. 'Bleed Like a Poet' is really strong rhythmically, and with a sing-a-long punchline to the chorus, it is probably a real favourite live. But my own personal highlight is 'Sugar Rush', 2 mins 20 of blistering guitars, great tunes and even a Cardiacs style glockenspiel 'ting' thrown into the middle of the track - one second of inspired brilliance which I keep on listening to. 'Peace Has a Pencil in Her Hair' demonstrates a subtle side to the band, and the vocal duet works well, even if the lyrics are a touch 'cheesy' for my personal taste.
With some impressive live appearances at not only Iceland Airwaves, but also at other European festivals, I really hope that we get the chance to see Rythmatik in the UK sometimes in 2017 - after all there are plenty of festivals they would be suitable for. In the meantime have a listen to their EP 'Waves', it is a solid and enjoyable EP and there is no doubt we'll be hearing more about this band again in the next year.