Oxsmá – “Rip Rap Rup”

This was another pickup from the Dr. Gunni collection on our recent trip to Iceland, and a album (more like a 12″ single, really) I’d be interested in for some time because Oxsmá is described as rockabilly punk (note some sites spell the band’s name Oxzmá because of the backwards “z” used as an “s” in the name on the front cover… but on the reverse it’s clearly spelled with an “s”).  I’d been scared away by the price, mostly – spending $40-50 on a three song, eight minute single isn’t my cup of tea.  So when I found it for closer to half that price, I figured I’d better pull the trigger.

The band was formed by students at the Reykjavik Art School in 1980, similar to the trend in England of punk musicians coming from art school backgrounds.  By the time Rip Rap Rup was released in 1985, the band had already reached it’s popularity peak and they broke up that same year.  The album is pretty funky, and it’s not hard to tell these folks came from art school.  The songs are all over the place.  Not sloppy per se.  Just sort of everywhere.  It’s hillbilly-rockabilly-new wave-punk with Flock of Seagulls hair.  It feels like it’s more about performance than music, if that makes sense.  Plus it has the word “rap” in the title, which is slightly ahead of its time.

I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to buy this, unless you’re way into rockabilly or Icelandic music (or of course unless you find it for a great price).  It’s fun, but it’s also short, though to me it’s actually the right length – anything more and I’d probably start getting sick of it.

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