- Burning at both ends
- Rene Russo
- I'm The Beholder
Bring on your tölty horse
“Eternal Horse” is the 9th album by the band Stafrænn Hákon. The current line up: guitarists Ólafur Josephsson and Lárus Siguðsson, bass guitarist Árni Þór Árnason, drummer Róbert Már Runólfsson and singer Magnús Freyr Gíslason. Longtime and now previous member of the band, Samuel White contributes on two songs. The longplayer is produced by Ólafur Josephsson and Daniel Lovegrove.
“Eternal Horse” is the second one on the American Darla Records label, 5 years after “Sanitas” (2010). The band moves away from the DIY experimental, lo-fi indierock you probably know from “Prammi” and “Kælir Varðhund”. “Eternal Horse” contains very vocally driven melodies, but there is still a guitar skeleton. Vocals and lyrics on the album are provided by Magnús Freyr Gíslason and ‘At The Close Of Everyday’ frontman Minco Eggersman, who provides vocals to three songs (“Burning at both ends”, “I’m the beholder” and “Light”). The album builds on certain elements as heard on “Gummi” (2007) and “Sanitas” (2010) and has a poppy and floating feel.
The opening track “Bræla”, is a perfect combo of gliding, groovy guitars and vulnerable vocals by Magnús. Vocal-less song 2 “Frigid/Bag” reminds of the sound of more than a decade ago (“Ventill/Poki”, 2004). Track III is “Kaos”: ‘When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future’ (Edward Lorenz). “Burning at both ends” is driven by Minco’s mature and magisterial voice. Song V “Sót” has an angelic character. The 6th song ,“Falkor”, is minatory, as a warning sign for an imminent danger. “Rene Russo” has a doomy thrill as well, leaving a dark chocolate taste on your palate. Nr 8 “I’m the beholder” is a short song (< 3 min) and nr 9 puts you in the twi“Light”.
Stafrænn Hákon’s ninth album is a healthy and heavenly horse, ideal for a late evening ride in tölt modus through the Hafnarfjörður area. Not exactly a Hercules or Quicksilver, but “Eternal Horse” is a horse to bet on, A Horse With A Name!
– Wim Van Hooste