Sunday, November 14, 2004


Singapore Sling

A Few Words About Singapore Sling

by Wayne Robins

I listened to the latest recording by Singapore Sling mostly because I liked their name. It requires a vivid imagination for a band from Iceland to name itself after a tropical cocktail invented in the waning days of the British Empire, at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. And Raffles, even under global corporate ownership, is probably the only place to get a decent one.

The only trepidation was that the album, "Life is Killing My Rock 'n' Roll" is on the Stinky label, which had me wondering what I could come up with if I had to do a promotional campaign for the record company. The options would seem to be impossibly jejune, don't you think?

Great band name, stinky label name. And wouldn't you know that "Life is Killing My Rock 'n' Roll" splits the difference between them. My first impression is that they are a Jesus & Mary Chain tribute band, without the impenetrable Scots accents and buzzsaw intensity. Like J&M, under the noise is a discernible foundation of surf guitar. The Stinky Web site likes to point out a relationship between Anglo-American garage rock (The Standells? I don't think so), as well as pre-punk precursors like Suicide and the Stooges (a little more accurate). Singapore Sling seems ambivalent about how far to go down that road. The songs are a little too poppy, and the batteries on the buzzsaw a little too weak. Yet there is certainly promise: There's nothing wrong here that more feedback, fuzztone and reverb couldn't cure.

(c) Wayne Robins. 2004. All rights reserved. Write me...

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