Saktmóðigur – “Plata” (1998)

A buddy of mine in Reykjavik sent this to me the other day after he found an extra copy on his shelves when going through his music collection. (♠) I have a couple of Saktmóðigur’s vinyl releases, 1996s Byggir Heimsveldi Úr Sníkjum 10″ and the 2003 7″ Demetra Er Dáin, both of which I enjoyed, so while I’ve been a bit less into punk lately I was still looking forward to listening to Plata (1998).

Saktmóðigur do a bit of style-mixing on Plata. While it’s all “punk” they move comfortably between subgenres, going from 1970s old school (“Dr. Ánægja”) to PiL-influenced quasi new wave (“Popparinn”) to hardcore (“Ég Get Ekkert”)… and that’s just on the album’s first three tracks. That refusal to fall into one nice neat bucket is a feature of Plata, one that keeps the album sounding fresh all the way through, more like you’re listening to a playlist than an album. It caps off with a pretty wicked cover of “99 Luftballons”, which is a fitting end. (♣)

(♠) Something I suspect every music collector/obsessive experiences at one time or another. I know it’s happened to me.

(♣) Personally I’m a fan of punk bands covering new wave songs. I’m not entirely sure why… but there’s certainly an ancestral relationship between the two genres, with new wave spinning out of the punk scene in the late 1970s, so maybe that’s the thread that holds it all together. Did the reverse ever happen? Were there new wave bands that covered punk songs? Certainly The Bollocks Brothers did by re-making the Sex Pistols’ entire first album, giving us Never Mind The Bollocks 1983. But wouldn’t you have love to have heard The Go-Go’s do “Livin’ In The 80s”? I would.