Keeping a finger on the pulse

Shot of Grísalappalísa video Hver er ég?

Open up your fridge, they will be there – Grísalappalísa

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I opened my fridge in the morning to grab something to eat. My gaze fell upon a ham package. Weird, immediately a picture of a little blond smiling boy appeared in my mind. Looks like Ali. Ali… Wait, what?! Ok, since that moment I hadn’t needed any cup of coffee, this coincidence just kicked me strong enough. Apparently, the debut album of Grísalappalísa and a brand of ham have way more in common than I used to think. Welcome in Iceland.

Pig-legged Lísa (Grísalappalísa) set her first steps in Reykjavík previous spring. She has been loud and really spectacular. It´s actually nothing strange about that because the band is created by seven experienced musicians that this time made… an explosive mixture. They promised they won´t let listeners stay untouched and, no soap, they have kept a pledge! When I saw them first time at Volta, one of their very first performances, I had impression they easily shot me with their sound. This is it as would say Michael J.

Grísalappalísa mixes rock´n´roll and post punk in an exquisite way. Additionally, Icelandic lyrics are split into two vocal paths that are so contrasting with each other but they work beautifully being at the same time vocally complementary. Baldur and Gunnar. Heaven and hell. A peaceful mind and total insanity. A poetic language versus almost an aggressive expression. I´m still afraid of this toothy smile of Gunnar while he is immersing himself totally in music on stage. He simply cannot stay still. Even when he performed once with a cast on his hand, his energy erupted and turned him into a wild scary beast that is able to jump unexpectedly into a crowd. Do you need a rush of adrenaline? Go to the first row. Personally, I survived a few times there and, listen to me – that was worth the price. And oh, how I wish I could be named Lísa so my name could be screamed like around 40 times per gig…!

Their performances are such a crazy great time that venue they play in almost turns into a natural happy sauna and once happened that as soon as I came to the concert room from a smoking area containing ‘fresh air‘, I was shocked and couldn´t see anything, charms of wearing glasses when it’s so unbelievable hot and nearly sweaty. During the show each of members of those Magnificent Seven has his own moment in spotlight to show off and use an impressive arsenal of energy bullets.

So what I am supposed to do now? Tell you about the best gig of them? Really? Are you kidding? It’s like question why did you come to Iceland?. They definitely have one huge problem… that may probably destroy them one day. Well, they never give a poor show. Somehow each of my friends I have invited for their gig was so impressed that I can be immodestly proud of my decision. I don’t really like to sacrifice myself and over my dead body I run to the concert if I don’t adore someone’s truly special stage appearances. But for Grísalappalísa I was able to cram myself into tiny 12 Tónar when this venue was totally packed during Airwaves last year and I heard them starting. Moreover, over my dead DEAD body I will get stucked with crazy smile upon my face 10 centimeters from the speaker. But I did. And heard every single word of lyrics. Thank you, guys, it was the only one time in my life I felt I will be alright with being deaf. Lísa, Lísa, where are you!?

So what about you? What do you have in your fridge that can wake you up with sudden music conclusion and equip you with a crazy smile for the rest of the day? A package of ham that is called exactly the same as one of your favourite albums?


Stína has followed her passion to Icelandic music as a music journalist since 2010. She joined then a writing team of Muzyka Islandzka - a Polish website dedicated to Icelandic music. Spreading her wings, Stína started her adventure with Icelandic language and moved to Reykjavík where she studied the language at the university. She also takes an active part in life of the local music scene. Since 2014 Stína had run a music blog that was transformed in 2017 into a printed magazine on Icelandic music.

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