This is the second in the series of 7″ records featuring Icelanders Grísalappalísa doing covers of seminal Icelandic popular musicians. They started with a two-song tribute to Megas called Grísalappalísa Syngur Megas in 2013, and just about six weeks ago put out their second, a 7″ dedicated to Stuðmenn. Like it’s predecessor, Grísalappalísa Syngur Stuðmenn is a limited edition release, but keep in mind that the numbering of each copy is on a sticker attached to the reverse of the plastic sleeve that holds the jacket – so don’t toss it! The Megas record was limited to 250 copies, and I assume this one is similar in size (though mine is a low number, so I can’t be sure). Also like the Megas record, it’s on colored vinyl, this time a nice baby blue. As soon as I saw it was out I reached out to my friends in Reykjavik over at Lucky Records and ordered myself a copy (which, of course, meant ordering other stuff too… <sigh>… the life of the vinyl junkie).
While the record itself only has two tracks, “Strax Í Dag” and “Reykingar” the download card includes a third as well – “Búkalú” (which is actually my favorite of the three). “Strax Í Dag” appeared on Stuðmenn’s debut album from 1975, Sumar Á Sýrlandi, a record that put them on the map as probably the most popular band in Iceland. “Reykingar” is from a split LP they did as part of a movie project in 1982 with the all-female new wave/punk band Grýlurnar called Með Allt Á Hreinu, an album I’ve actually written about before on Life in the Vinyl Lane. The secret download only song “Búkalú” dates from the 1985 release Í Góðu Geimi, the only of the three Stuðmenn originals I don’t own. Might need try to track a copy down when we’re at Airwaves in November.
This is a fun little record. “Strax Í Dag” is done in a sort of lo-fi, half drunken slurred way, while the sax intro to “Reykingar” sets the tone for a bluesy type number. “Búkalú” is the gem, though, opening with some 80s style synth madness, more synth-pop than new wave and really cool. I like that a locally popular band like Grísalappalísa is paying tribute to their home-grown popular music influences, and doing it with these unique one-off 7″ releases. As long as they keep putting them out, I’ll keep buying them.