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Quarashi - Jinx (2002) Retail CD
Given the plethora of inspiring landscapes, phenomena such as aurora borealis and 24-hour daylight in the summer, it is perhaps understandable why sweeping strings, whoosing-geyser-esque use of feedback, and whispered vocals seem to be the trademarks of much of the brilliantly breathtaking music currently being produced in Iceland. "Stick 'Em Up", the first track on Quarashi's "Jinx", could therefore prove to be something of a surprise when it explodes into the speakers. On first listen, it is easy to write Quarashi off as Rage Against the Machine or early Beastie Boys wannabes. A couple of mediocremore… rhymes in "Stick 'Em Up" and the too-80s-for-comfort guitar riffs of "Copycat" certainly don't allow the album to stand out from its genre. But giving the album a couple of spins and, more importantly, listening beyond tracks such as "Mr. Jinx" and "Baseline" (which are extremely typical of the rap-rock genre) soon illustrates the finer and quirkier points of "Jinx". Moreover, listening to the album as a whole reveals its slick production and well-executed links, which are always vital in albums which have a celebratory atmosphere. Of course, the individual tracks further demonstrate the group's abilities. Above all, the four-piece are extremely adept at selecting riffs and creating refrains – "Transparent Parents", whose chorus grooves deeply and leans satisfyingly into the bass line, stands out as an example of this. Meanwhile, certain tracks attempt, partly successfully, to detach the album from the rap-rock genre: for example, the twinkling background of "Dive In" is reminiscent of Saint-Saens' "The Aquarium". It is also entertaining to hear "Tarfur" being rapped entirely in Icelandic, and its sampled chorus with a female vocalist lifts the track well out of the machismo which is usually a by-product of the Limp Bizkit school of rap-rock (and which has the potential to infect bands such as Quarashi.) Happily, Quarashi never tread on Fred Durst's toes – the majority of the tracks are energetic and fun-loving, and while "Jinx" can definitely be turned up to 11, the group is certainly not angry or about to break anything.But while Quarashi's ear for hooks and production can’t be faulted, "Jinx", when compared with albums produced by their fellow countrymen (and women), is hardly groundbreaking, despite being completely incomparable to many Icelandic bands' brand of experimental post-rock and chamber-pop. Indeed, a lot of the underground popularity gained by Quarashi does seem to stem from the fact that the fans treat their nationality as an idiosyncrasy: Iceland just doesn't "do" rap. However, it is important to look at the album and the artists themselves: "Jinx" is a collection of fun, quirky and light-hearted tracks, created by a bunch of guys who have an undeniable knack for creating catchy songs. Had the album originated in Singapore, Greece or Peru, this fact would remain the same. So while Mum, Sigur Ros, et al make the experience of being Icelandic and living in Iceland an integral part of their music, Quarashi, in creating "Jinx", obviously just gazed at the 24-hour daylight and used it as an excuse to stay up and party a little more.
|1||Stick 'Em Up|
|10||F*** You Puto|
- Quarashi - Jinx (2002) Retail CD
- 800 x 800 px
- 72 KB
- 68 (0 today)
- 30/04/07 by allcdcovers
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