Mum: Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy

By: Josh Potter

As strange as it sounds, it's easy these days to say that something simply "sounds Icelandic." With Bjork in the twilight of her career, Sigur Ros in the mythical realm of international rock-stardom, Mugison taking his place alongside the great American singer-songwriters and a host of Viking experimenters following in their wake (peep Sketches For Albinos), the regional aesthetic has become recognizable in the music world at large. Mum is, no doubt, equally responsible. Despite the remarkable stylistic shift evidenced on Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy (Fat Cat), there is something indelibly Icelandic about Mum's fourth album. A year after the departure of founding member Kristin Valtysdottir, Mum is poppier than ever. With tight, live-instrumental arrangements and the closest thing to vocal hooks they've yet produced, the album is full of tasty little sugar cubes. That said, their hallmark glitch beats and electronic washes are some of their deepest and most polished. Without Valtysdottir, this might as well be a new band, but this shouldn't be seen in the negative. Despite the bleak, hyperborean landscape, Icelandic artists have always had a knack for turning out surprisingly cheery, effervescent pop. With a transcendental brand of twee, the new Mum is more fun than ever.

JamBase | Great White Far North
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[Published on: 12/23/07]

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