Halldór Laxness

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While Minus' Halldor Laxness isn't a particularly good record as far as the genre of 20-somethings working the punk-metal crossover in the early 21st century go, it's more creative and less clichéd than many of its rivals. While average, grungy metal-punk with grinding, sometimes bleak, chord progressions provides the foundation, there's also some psychedelic swirl to the sonics at times. Singer "Krummi" (aka Katie Jane Garside) eschews the usual growl'n'grunt of the style for a more normal, straining, alternative rock voice; mixing confidence and confusion. The songs are infused with much of the youthful torment that suffuses such bands, but these guys sport a higher quotient of defiance and a lower quotient of nihilistic rage. The dehumanizing effects of drugs come in for their share of comment, explicitly in "My Name Is Cocaine," and less blatantly in the sound of an "elevator Prozac going insane" in "Here Comes the Night." At times they hint at breaking through the boundaries of their niche, with "The Long Face" approaching more conventional, anxious, mainstream rock, and "Insomniac" admitting some funk into the beat.

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