Review: Singapore Sling – Perversity, Desperation and Death

It’s safe to say Singapore Sling won’t be the last outfit to be compared to those darlings of British drone rock, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Spaceman 3. What is perhaps more unusual and intriguing is that the group hail from Iceland and their suitably grimy sound can be attributed to most of the album being produced in a cellar on a 4 track recorder.

Much of ‘Perversity, Desperation and Death’ (including the title) might be considered a pastiche. Their frontman Henrik Björnsson sneers in the manner of JAMC’s Jim Reid (especially evident on the actually rather fine ‘Demoniac’), whilst ‘Darklands’ and Black Rebel Motorycle Club’s early material seems to have been on heavy rotation during the songwriting process. What is especially noticeable though, is the band rattle through their songs at a good pace; each one taking up an average of four minutes and never threatening to bore the listener with any drone rock indulgence.

 It’s hard to pick a standout as each track segues seamlessly into another, with chugging, metronomic rhythms, dark guitar melodies and malevolent vocals the centrepiece of everything they do. Still, the slower, haunting qualities of  ‘Call Me Trash’ brings to mind The Velvet Underground and centrepiece ‘Song For The Spirit’ is noteworthy for its rock and rolll guitar figure.

Enjoyment of The Singapore Sling’s work largely depends on whether you enjoy drone heavy music as there’s little deviation from the formula. Nevertheless, after a few listens it’s hard not to nod your head in appreciation of the insistent and persuasive menace at the heart of this music. 

Web Sites:
Singapore Sling MySpace

Further Listening:
The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

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