Iceland’s Minus will be an acquired taste for metal fans and hardcore fans, alike. They balance the line between metalcore chugga-lugga and punk rock’s snottier side of things. The guitars are total metalcore, but the rest of the band plays different styles that preclude any easy description. The vocalist is also a bit of a difficult one. He has a very rock & roll voice, but he can also scream his head off with the best of them. I’ll tell you for certain, though, I’m confused, but in a very pleasant way.
Put simply, this rocks, and it rocks very hard and thoroughly. At times, they sound like Grade, and on the next song they sound like some of Silverchair’s harder songs (yes, they have hard songs). There’s definitely some similarities to Deftones going on here, but Minus aren’t as contrived or forced sounding as are Deftones. I also sense hints of Foo Fighters from time to time. Regardless of the band they may or may not sound like, what never wanes is the band’s penchant for aggression and power. The guitars are thick, warm, and they seem to melt into the cracks left behind by the drummer’s big hits. The vocalist has a very unique sounding voice, sort of a mix between Daniel Johns of Silverchair and Guy Piciotto from Fugazi (I’m not joking!), and his voice works perfectly in this band.
I’m not going to say that this record is as good as Refused’s Shape of Punk to Come, but I will say that I was pleasantly reminded of that record while listening to Halldor Laxness. That Refused record went down in history as one of the greats for being unbridled and unrestrained by genre, and Minus is a band that’s just about as difficult to pin down as any I’ve ever heard. In short, this record is incredible, and is one of 2003’s best, and I see it owning my CD player for many weeks to come.
Victory Records: http://www.victoryrecords.com/