Reykjavík maverick Henrik Björnsson recently released Good Sick Fun, his eleventh album under the Singapore Sling project via Fuzz Club Records. Inspired by goth-rock, dub and big-band jazz on top of the usual fuzzed-out rock’n’roll touchstones that are seared into Henrik’s work, the latest Singapore Sling full-length is as perversely hedonistic as they come – and that’s not without competition by any means.
An invitation to “rejoice in doing wrong”, in Henrik’s own words, Good Sick Fun is the latest morbid and characteristically depraved addition to a back-catalogue spanning nearly two decades from the cult Icelandic band. Arriving off the back of the 2019 Killer Classics LP, Henrik says of the new album: “Old rock´n´roll is the main influence on this record, as on most of my records. When I release a record, it means rock´n´roll has saved my life, my mind and my soul once again. And it does that quite frequently. Sometimes I start running astray, getting sucked into pointless garbage and thinking it actually matters. Then I realize that it´s absolute garbage and that nothing matters but rock´n´roll so I go and make a record instead.”
Opening with ‘Touch the Filth’, a chaos of brass gives way to an impossibly catchy riff that hooks instantly that only intensifies as it continues. This leads to ‘Soul Kicks’, a track that seems poised on the edge of menace, without actually reaching its depths, with an almost funhouse vibe towards the end. Title track ‘Good Sick Fun’ has lyrics that will appeal to anyone who has plunged into this LP whilst ‘Summertime Blues’ needs no introduction, being a distinctly Sling take on a classic. ‘Love Sick Love Fuck’ could be confused for a love song, could be, if you took it at face value, make no mistake, it’s not and ‘Vindication’ could be their version of ‘Closer’ (you know the one).
‘Sick Fuck’ as its name suggests doesn’t spare the punches but with its dance laden countenance it is probably the most accessible track on the album, if such a thing was needed. Lead track ‘Sickin’ Street’ is another one that you can’t help moving around to, with an infectious energy created through layered sound. ‘Like The Breeze’ is another haunting one, with ethereal female vocals rising above. ‘No Fire’ is deceiving, there are flashes of brilliance buried under the dominant vocals that have to be teased out patiently to be fully appreciated. ‘Girl Inside Your Head’ is aptly named for a tune that you’ll be humming for days and concluding ‘Friday Bye Bye’ stands out as being completely different in every way to the rest of the album. A glimpse into the future or a track just too good to be left off? Time will tell.
Singapore Sling aren’t here to impress you, they make the music they want to make and if you happen to listen to it, all the better. They don’t shy away from themes and language that sees some shaking in their boots, they are proudly here to disgust your sensibilities.