Iceland, home of the Elven Queen, Bjork, now gives us Quarashi, a four-man rap group comprised of Solvi, Stoney, Hossi, and Omar Swarez. Yes, Virginia, there is rap in Iceland.
The comparisons are inevitable – yes, there is some Beastie Boys here and a little House of Pain there (okay, a lot of House of Pain on the malt-liquor smooth “Malone Lives” and “Mr. Jinx,”) with a dash of Limp Bizkit to make things crunchy. A bad thing? No, not when the lyrics are a snappy as “Malone Lives”’s “Funky Euripides” and the guitars are nice and chunky, like on “Baseline.” Jinx’s first track and single, “Stick ‘Em Up” is a high energy kick in the ass, but Quarashi also knows how to bring it down – “Dive In” cools down with almost-sung lyrics and a low, summertime vibe, which slides neatly into “Bless,” which takes some cues from current modern dance music.
The tracks are a little formulaic – Quarashi really likes the crunchy guitar, and the vocals seem over-processed at times. This might be remedied with some tour time on this summer’s Van’s Warped Tour. A solid debut from the boys from the Land of Frost and Fire.