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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Quarashi
Jinx
Columbia Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Judging from the appearances of Solvi, Hossi, Olafsson, Stoney Fjelsted, and Omar Swarez, most people would probably mistake the members of Quarashi for an indie-rock band, with their Converse All-Stars and messy-looking hair. But they're actually an Icelandic rap group, possibly (who knows?) the next big thing out of the place since Bjork or Sigur Ros.

A mélange of rap and hard rock, Quarashi's Jinx is an album of re-released material, with the exception of a few of new singles. They claim to be influenced by punk as well as hip-hop, and though some lyrics talk about problems within society, like "Malone Lives," ("In this world in this life that we are living where it is nobler to take than to be giving/ Stop/ Get behind excess stress and no caress this form of society is making a mess/ Moreover it's over and it's a damn crime") and Solvi and Omar met as children at a communist protest against the American military base in Iceland, most of the lyrics are mediations on drugs, rage, and insults as infantile as the standard Yo Mama joke. Lyrics are, however, definitely one of the most interesting aspects of Jinx, not because they are of a certain quality, but because they are fairly funny in a ridiculous sort of way, sometimes sounding like a seventh grader's dis circa the 1980s (as in "there's a party at your house cause your mama is a stripper" in "Stick 'Em Up"). If lyrics like these are supposed to be a joke, I'd call this clever, but, considering the language barrier you can never be quite sure.

Quarashi claims its territory, not only with numerous forms of bodily excretion, but also with lyrics like, "I bomb the mic like a fascist/ Mussolini comin' through with no remorse/ from the dark you won't see me/ Rise up from the sea like a Godzilla straight up through your mind with my armor plated drilla/ I don't give a fuck what you think about this shit/ ain't in it for the money never out to make a hit/ If you can't take it like I said get a grip 'cause I'm here to fucking stay like the warts on your dick." Ouch.

You can trace just about every track on Jinx back to a number of influences, from Licensed to Ill-era Beastie Boys on "Stick 'Em Up" and Rage Against the Machine on "Mr. Jinx," to Linkin Park on "Transparent Parents" and the Avalanches on "Bless."

Considering they're from Reykjavik, Iceland, Quarashi's music is fairly (kind of, sort of) original, especially when they rap in Icelandic on "Tarfur," possibly the best song on Jinx. Though the rap-rock scene is overtly tedious, Jinx is still an amusing listen. Quarashi, with due exceptions, (notably "Dive In"), can make some fairly catchy songs, so if you want to hear something new (assuming you haven't heard a rap band from Iceland!) that isn't so bad and includes the first rap song written and recorded in Icelandic, you might want to get your hands on Jinx.

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also released on Time Bomb
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Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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