Suð - 'Meira suð'
Nordic Music Review is 2 years old today, and whilst new bands keep emerging, it's always great to see an older band that we previously haven't written about release a new album - and being only 2 years old that is bound to happen, most bands will obviously release albums on a 2-3 year cycle. In the case of Icelandic band Suð, well that process has taken slightly longer because this is their first album for 17 years, but it is great to have them back, and 'Meira suð' is a really interesting album with an indie punk sound that has some lovely softer melodic moments too.
In the circumstances it is clearly beneficial to give some additional Suð background. Formed in an underground scene in the late 90's, they were (and still are... ) influenced by the US lo-fi and alternative scene, with Pavement being listed as an obvious inspiration. Their album 'Hugsanavélin' was nominated at the Icelandic Music Awards in 1999, and it was a year that Sigur Ros walked off with the majority of the awards as Ágætis byrjun had been released. Anyway the band got scattered across Europe a couple of years later, but kept in touch and 2 years ago ended up rehearsing to play some songs for a birthday party - finding it hard to relearn some of their old tunes, they wrote some new ones and soon enough they had enough material for a new album. It's clearly difficult to write a 20 year summary in a paragraph but you get the picture...
Anyway, on to Meira suð, and this is a really enjoyable album, although it is true to say it does take a few listens to get in to the spirit of the album. Opening tracks 'Meira suð' and in particular the 2 minute 'Á flótta' have the biggest punk influences, but the music has a natural energy, and I love the manic guitars in the latter track. But for me the album really develops with 'Plastgea', which has a lovely melodic lilt, and a more laid back feel which builds up to some intense vocals at the end - it just works so well. ' Í jafnvægi' is written very much in the style of American 80s grunge bands and I like it, whilst 'Við vorum vofur' has a really upbeat, almost catchy pop vocal, which contrasts excellently with the heavier guitars that accompany them. 'Farg' goes in a differently direction completely, with a shimmering and slightly wayward violin being the key instrument used, but not in the way that most bands use a violin. The album concludes with the bass introduced 'Erich', a softer and slightly melancholy feel with jangling guitars, and almost 7 minutes of music to wind down the album.
I really like 'Meira suð', and have carried it around with me all weekend, with the album happily accompanying me on car journeys and long cold Sunday evening runs. Still written with the spirit of an Indie Punk band at heart, Suð have incredibly retained that vivacity they first created 17 years ago - and you can find that first album on streaming services if you look hard enough. Tracks such as 'Plastgea' and 'Við vorum vofur' are the highlights for me, but it is the consistency of the tracks too which impress, with the album quite possibly growing in strength as it progresses. OK of course it still has that lo-fi style which won't be for everyone, but please give Suð a go, we truly welcome them back and respectfully request they don't wait another 17 years before producing their third album.
Nordic Music Review 8/10
You can buy the album on Vinyl at Bandcamp but HURRY, there was only 44 left when I checked earlier. You can also buy it at good vinyl shops in Iceland, which is good news if I make it in December. https://sudtheband.bandcamp.com/