Singapore Sling – Never Forever (May 13, 2011)
First of all, this is not the kind of band you can pass by indifferently after you’ve heard their first beats and suddenly find out they’re actually from Iceland (although let’s face it – in case of Singapore Sling you cannot stay indifferent anyway). The country with population of less than half a million that can easily make the whole world kneel down with just a few roars of the volcanoes is a homeland of many brilliant musicians, but this time we have quite a special case. And the band’s special because of their quite special sound. Real treasure for lovers of psychedelic music.
With openminded lyrics and obviously different level of sound in comparison to their previous releases, Never Forever can be considered as band’s critical album. Never before Singapore Sling’s music sounded so desperate. Never before was Singapore Sling’s guitar wall so thin – yielding to semi-acoustic experiments instead. The album has so many layers that one can count several peaks in mood of the music. First is the opening song itself, Nothing Inside, born from the void, that’s associated with Singapore Sling’s well-known sound (let’s recall Godman, for example). Freaks: with lyrics as honest as the title and full of love and pain to oneself or the others, this song conjoins all the emotional energy of the album. As the music monotonously progresses, it’s joined by Henrik Bjørnson’s not less monotonous vocals, and then suddenly at 1:00 into the track (that shone with darkness up till now) converts into a vortex of numerous colours that even “roller-coaster” wouldn’t be strong enough to describe it. If we were to pass through numerous parallel universes during the line “We could be together in misery”, the feeling that process would give us could be a more or less close example.
Welcome, it’s time to disappear to monotonous whining clink-clank of the music. Or in it, to be precise. Now It’s Time To Disappear: the Singapore Sling type of hypnosis works perfectly. It’s capable of throwing a person into trance and make him dance to the lazy rhythm.
Sleep is a story of a man tired from love who wants nothing but to sleep. I don’t want no love, I don’t need no love, love is way too tough: we can even draw parallels with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s 1:51. I don’t need no one, I don’t want no one, I ain’t got no one.
This is an album of free experiments. And you’re reminded of that when you come across “You Can’t Compare”. This semi-acoustic song full of limitless energy feels like nearly exploding from impatience. But it imperceptibly evolves into Poison Ape, the beginning of which (oh, I forgot to warn yoy this is also an album of endless subconscious associations) reminds you of.. uhm.. that of Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl?. But this is not what it seems from the first sounds. Poison Ape is the second most emotional peak of the whole record. Repeated drums, repeated words, dead echoed vocals, repeated guitar solo, three repeated notes on the piano and perfect harmony leave you hopeless before even the song is finished, or absorb all your emotions and leave you empty, just like the opening song of the album, or in contrary, fill you with emotions from the whole record, preparing you for its ending.
While the ending exceeds all expectations. The title track is the last drop to make you insane. Genius repetitions in everything: repeated line “Never Forever” during all song, all instruments seem to hopelessly and endlessly repeat their part until they reach Singapore Sling’s traditional guitar wall.
It’s time to disappear.