Down I Go
Iceland Extras


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mort. CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
April 19th, 2016 | 23 replies


Release Date: 10/22/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: LET'S GO TO ICELAND!

Down I Go’s return to the musical world last year was a triumphant one. Their first release in 4 years (since the band members moved to different parts of the world), You’re Lucky God That I Cannot Reach You, showed their fans they still had a few tricks up their sleeves, with the group scaling down their spastic aggression and emphasising their melodic nature. Iceland Extras is a compilation divided into two halves, the first a collection of tracks recorded in Iceland during the You’re Lucky God sessions, (You’re Lucky God being conceptually based on Icelandic myths) and the second an unreleased EP of tracks under the name Sammy Davis Junior Junior, which was originally conceived around the time of the Gods EP but was never finished due to the band moving apart. Over the next four years the Sammy Davis Junior Junior tracks were worked on by Down I Go’s Ben Standage (drums) who relegated the vocal duties to BATS frontman Rupert Morris, Jamie Lenman (of Reuben) and provided vocals himself to the only track supposed new vocalist Adam Powell (director of many UK based artist music videos) ever put vocals on. This, compounded by the fact that only one track on the first half is an original Down I Go recording (the others being covers by Komeda/Fantomas, Pariso and You Win Again Gravity) means that this is barely even a Down I Go record, something which can clearly be heard in the very different feel of the Sammy Davis Junior Junior tracks.

“Deep Indeed” is the only original Down I Go track on here and its clear why it didn’t make the final cut (even if it a ridiculously enjoyable track). The hilariously exuberant falsetto vocals, soaring harmonies and calls of “let’s go to Iceland!” come off across more as just a bit of fun than fully fleshed out ideas; a view reinforced by the track's relatively simple, repetitive structure. The three succeeding tracks are perfect choices for Down I Go to cover as each one features at least some resemblance to earlier facets of their sound from one point or another, with “Theme for Rosemary’s Baby” (Komeda/Fantomas) harkening back to Down I Go’s habit of having these cult like chants in between all the madness; although the melancholy whistling and humming brings to mind nothing they’ve done before. However, it does feature Pete Frasier’s seemingly new found love for falsetto vocals, which starkly contrasts with the next cover “Subtlety” (You Win Again Gravity) which calls back to some of their heavier works with its off-kilter chugging and harsh vocals.

The Sammy Davis Junior Junior side of this compilation is totally bereft of harsh vocals, an indication of the sound the band members were desiring to go in at the end of Down I Go’s career. But some other facets of their sound remain such as the technical melodies and harmonised interplaying vocals, such as on “Prayer For Motivation” which features my favourite lyric of the compilation, “im not giving up im just taking a break, if fear creates nothing there’s nothing at stake”, an apparent ode to procrastination. Overall this side is more as if the current wave of UK based alternative rock/post-hardcore acts had a bit more personality, as although the atmosphere is certainly somewhat toned down with some of the vocal duties being unimpressively pedestrian Down I Go’s knack for fun vocal melodies and rhythms remain - except maybe for the last track “A Thousand Songs”. Although, “A Thousand Songs” is a welcome departure from the usual anyway, being a 6 minute slow melodic build up that never tries to reach any sort of climax but instead just barely picks up for the last two minutes to create a resigned sense of finality, a fitting end to a bunch of tracks that may be showing out a band who probably had more to say.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like the 3rd Down I Go review ive done now, my Disastercore review was probs better but this was hard to write about anyway due to the comps nature

Digging: Xiu Xiu - Plays The Music Of Twin Peaks

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://downigo.bandcamp.com/album/iceland-extras

zakalwe
April 19th 2016


27058 Comments


Mums gone to Iceland. Bought a load of nibbles that look like something the cats coughed up.

Pheromone
April 19th 2016


6950 Comments


you've gotten pretty good at this whole reviewing thing bro pos

dont think ill check this, dont think its my thing

Digging: Suzanne Langille - Let the Darkness Fall

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers man



And na its not, although the first song on the second half "prayer for motivation" and the last track might be up your street

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mums go to iceland because they didnt get many gcses

Pheromone
April 19th 2016


6950 Comments


40% of mums achieved 5 A-C's

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and one of them was in food tech

zakalwe
April 19th 2016


27058 Comments


Put the sausage rolls down Kerry love.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and step away from the shit christmas platters of edible bite sized obesity

DoofusWainwright
April 19th 2016


19991 Comments


Thought the Unwound write up was up next?

Great review, title is indeed legendary. Will give the album a spin after I've stopped jammin the new Weezah on repeat

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the unwound write up was supposed to be next ages ago man, ive been on a real streak recently and written a fair few reviews this month already so he Unwound one has been resigned to the backburner i will finish it up at some point



and seeming as this is a compilation doof if you are going to check anything by this band check You're Lucky God That I Cannot Reach You or their short 4 track ep about greek gods called "Gods" simply enough

Tyler.
April 19th 2016


16684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the artwork for this and you're lucky god. was never sure if this was worth checking out tho

Tyler.
April 19th 2016


16684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the artwork for this and you're lucky god. was never sure if this was worth checking out tho

Tyler.
April 19th 2016


16684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the artwork for this and you're lucky god. was never sure if this was worth checking out tho

Tyler.
April 19th 2016


16684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the artwork for this and you're lucky god. was never sure if this was worth checking out tho

Tyler.
April 19th 2016


16684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

QUAD POST

Tyler.
April 19th 2016


16684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

QUAD POST

YakNips
April 19th 2016


19651 Comments


more like sex post

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2016


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more like send your money in the post pls



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