Life Is Killing My Rock 'N' Roll

by: Singapore Sling

The fuzzy fall-out from the Velvets/Jesus & Mary Chain axis continues, through the Raveonettes and BRMC all the way to the bruised and knify stylings of Iceland's Singapore Sling. Led as usual by centerpiece/mastermind Henrik Björnsson, the Sling returns after 2003's promising Curse of with another blurry blast of darklands rock, this time around taking some of the corners tighter, but not necessarily digging any new graves of revolution. "Nightlife" drenches its lullaby melody in dream pop static, and "Curse Curse Curse" is just waiting to soundtrack your next convenience store crime spree. You can dig its sticky lead guitar line; imagine it sidling up to Björnsson's disdainful slur. Which is fine for a hedonistic evening. But though these tracks plum the depths of their style's bruised and broken magnet trajectory, a lot of Life Is Killing My Rock 'N' Roll seems like a sleepwalk. A sleepwalk in a cool leather vest and shades, to be sure. But it's still a sleepwalk. Even that title reads as kinda obvious. ("I Hate Rock & Roll," anyone? "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'N' Roll"?) Still, if you're a fan of grease, Singapore Sling has some more punches to throw. "J.D." re-casts chiming-'60s pop guitar in a gutter patina of codependent debauchery, brought to life brilliantly by Björnsson and vocalist Elsa Maria. And "A Little Love" offers a few sunny cracks for anyone caught under the ice sheet, its constant drift of flat, screamy guitars livened by hopeful chirps of farfisa and Wurlitzer. There's no guarantee that you won't drown anyway. But at least your last thrashing moments will shimmer like sunlight through the inky water. And you'll wish you hadn't told-off your crime-spree girlfriend. ~ Johnny Loftus

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