'Snowed In' - 'Fun is Overrated' EP
Of course the one question that no sensible or reputable music magazine / blog will ever try and pose is 'Who Are the Greatest Band Ever', because that one question will result in such a huge flurry of opinions and debates that it is like to create a huge dispute before the obvious conclusion is reached that it was impossible to answer in the first place. But of course we're neither a sensible or a reputable music blog, and therefore the answer to the question is quite obviously Cardiacs. So when a little man found himself a house band event in Iceland wearing a Cardiacs t-shirt and was complimented on it by a member of Icelandic band 'Snowed In', and then told the whole world window about it (or maybe just a few people in 'the pond' on Facebook...), we decided we needed to listen to them ourselves.
Now as regular readers know the one requisite we insist on for new bands is that they pass the 'Googlability Test' - introduced a few years back after spending hours tracking down evidence of a Norwegian band irritatingly called 'The Fjords', but such was our excitement about finding a band that might / or might not, have some Cardiacs influences in their music, that we threw our 6 volume set of Rules / Guidelines out the window and embarked on a google search using the words 'Snowed', 'In', 'Iceland' and then spent sometime enjoying looking at pictures of snow in Iceland.
Anyway it turns out they're a 4 piece post punk style band who've been around for a few years and come from Akranes, a lovely looking port town a few miles north of Reykjavik, and home to well known football team ÍA, whom none other than Ólafur Gottskálksson (and many others...) played for. Their latest EP is entitled 'Fun is Overrated', a follow up to their 'Ambitious but Talentless' EP which they released last year. It opens with 'Nock, Draw, Loose', 35 seconds of mayhem and I instantly like the opening with a banjo style guitar before a flurry of guitars and drums that carry the track forward. 'People Skills' opens with a scream of ''People Skills.... I got NONE'' showing that this a band who have a slightly 'tongue in cheek' approach to their songwriting, and the highlight is definitely the chaotic and rampant instrumental section that occupies most of the latter part of the song. But although the opening track will go on all my latest playlists, actually it's the final song 'Saccharin, Saccharin' that probably has the most substance to it - vocals that offer a Power Pop style melody before inevitably it crashes into life - and I just love the throaty physical sound of the guitars, it's such an obvious highlight.
This is the unforgettable 'Nock, Draw, Loose':
I realise I've written a ridiculous self indulgent amount on 'Snowed In', but I think the point is that they are actually a fairly entertaining garage style rock band, and 'Fun Is Overrated' is definitely worth a listen. For those loyal Cardiacs followers who've somehow stumbled typically confused and helpless on to this page, there's certainly a hint of an 'influence' especially in the opening track, but actually 'Snowed In' head off in their own direction - and remind me more of UK underground bands like 'Friends of Ken' who played similarly styled thrash punk pop with smiles on their faces. But we'd obviously love to hear of more 'Cardiacs' influenced bands from Iceland.... so suggestions to the normal email address....