SXSW 2009 Preview: Part Three


They are: An Icelandic pop band. According to their SXSW page, “Sprengjuhollin’s success in its native Iceland can be viewed objectively by the broadness of its fanbase that covers art school hipsters, mechanics, housewives, convicts and politicians.” Unfortunately, my Google search for “Icelandic Convict Radio” failed to return more information about this exciting new subgenre.

Sounds like
: The type of band that plays over the credits of a Wes Anderson movie. (Their web site says Belle and Sebastian, so I don’t have to.)

The Tracks (from their MySpace page):

Worry till Spring
Some brass over the chorus gives this mellow groove-rider a little extra flavor. Clean production, warm vocals and a plucked guitar keeps the whole thing humming.

The Drive
A snare heavy intro (channeling “Get Off Of My Cloud”?) gives way to surf-scented fuzz. It’s a nice groove, reminiscent of Apples in Stereo, but it doesn’t seem to quite have anywhere to go.

A descending violin squall jumps into a propulsive, string-heavy rush of a song. It turns dreamy at the end, with chanted “Oh la la”s that are bright enough to life the mood of even the most jaded convict.

The verdict: Sprengjuhollin is a great pop band, with a fun, clean sound, but they seem a bit too edgeless to be compelling live.