Deep Jimi & the Zep Creams

Funky Dinosaur

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Funky Dinosaur Review

by Ned Raggett

Ultimately it all had to be a joke of some kind -- but what kind is unsure. After all, the quartet was from Iceland. Somehow managing to get a major-label deal after building up a semi-cult reputation in New York, the snarkily named foursome would probably have gotten treated with more relative attention had they been from, say, Seattle. Certainly the four acts referenced in the name were reasonable enough starting points, and while they really don't get beyond the bounds of a really good tribute act, they at least deliver enough flash to crack a smile here and there. Guitarist Thor -- just Thor -- has spent enough time with his Guitar Player magazines, or whatever the Scandinavian equivalent is, but the emphasis is on chunky hooks and quick solos rather than simple wank. As for singer Sigurder Eyberg, it isn't a glam wail or classic rock gravelly howl he has, but there's something here that suggests playful jokers like Disneyland After Dark in his high-pitched ways. He certainly isn't Robert Plant, but who is? Keeping everything sounding at least professional enough is cult producer/musician Kramer -- things sound a lot crisper here than his usual work with the Shimmy-Disc stable, possibly because the mixing wasn't done by him in turn. The most successful track on the album comes right at the start, with "Haia Gurusah." With a torrent of astoundingly ridiculous lyrics delivered with the correct level of shout/scream enthusiasm -- "There are horses wearing bras/Making love in applesauce," for instance -- the song itself is catchy enough to work on its own. Beyond that great moment, it's a little more up and down -- blooze traditionalism amped up here and there, proto-metal sludge, even flute-led pastoralism. Uneven, but still worth a good smirk or two.

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