In Faroese funk just Anna

MonkeyRat «Fuck The Jante Law» (Tutl, 2009)

MonkeyRat «Sunshine» (Tutl, 2012)

You can find simply all genres of music on the Faroe Islands! The irrepressible Faroese drive punk gigs, rap, play elegant jazz, and feel easy in the sphere of modern academic music. Though, I hadn’t listened to their funk yet (although it combines a large dose of alternative rock and other music genres). The band MonkeyRat has come to my attention for now. Its main driving force (vocal and song texts) are the singer Anna Iachino, and the well-known jazzman Arnold Ludvig (music, bass, occasionally vocals), that shows to better advantage in this project, than in such-like jazz projects. One can give rational explanation to this moment, though. The music by MonkeyRat is, generally, based on Ludvig’s bass.

The band has two albums under its belt: «Fuck The Jante Law», recorded in 2009, and «Sunshine» — in 2012. Frankly speaking, they round each other logically out, but the first album is yet bolder.

It has much more of alternative rock. The title raunchy «Fuck The Jante Law» deserves special attention, in which one can sometimes, God save the mark, hear Lydia Lunch. Since it sounds psychedelic, and seems to be just inspired by the “great and terrible”.

This feeling spins away, though. Anna not singing, and turns it into violent intone about sex in wonderful Copenhagen and other sweets of life. To be honest, it sounds somewhat boring, and one feels pity, that such songs like the abovesaid «Fuck The Jante Law» and «Money Takes Flight» are very few in it. Or, rather, that they are only two in all. Besides, I’d like to mention, the absolutely surprising (but not coincidentally bonus) song «Pastel Shades». It sounds very alien in this album, but definitely good.

The album «Sunshine» fully justifies its title. If the first MonkeyRat’s album suggested some aggression by its cover, then the second one “invited” Bob Marley, which spread his reggae between the guests. It makes me upset on the one hand, because there’s nothing like «Fuck The Jante Law» here , that could have relaxed atmosphere, but, on the other hand, improvisation with sunny music does Anna well. Sometimes, you may seem, she really sings.

By the way, the last track «Missing U», like the CD of 2009, turned out to be very surprising and looks like a real “albino” among other 8 compositions, that have sounded before it.

The music by MonkeyRat is nothing like one used to expect from the musician from the Faroes. There’s nothing of Faroese about it (even the plainest alternative like “The Dreams” has more of it). Yes, Anna Iachino is an Italian, and so one shouldn’t expect, she’d write Faroese confessions. Yet, it’s absolutely clear, if it wasn’t for fjords, these songs would have never become known in the world, and even their authors wouldn’t have thought to record them. The Faroes spread art within its population. Anna Iachino is a common example. Not the best, but not the worst. The only thing, I’d like to advise is to create more follies like «Fuck The Jante Law». It becomes to you perfectly, Anna.

Reviewer by Anton Kovalsky.

Translated by Irina Boiko.

Russian version reviewer.