3

Ambitious? Yes. Terrible? Yes, that too...

Bored Icelandic teenagers attempt to reinvent punk rock for the modern age. An impossible to realise ideal? In short, yes.

A word to the wise. Musical revolutions are abrasive not simply because that is what it takes people to listen but because ambition, circumstance or enthusiasm simply makes them so. The Velvet Underground were so in their championing of the anti-hippy counter-culture of the late 60s, the Pistols were because of their stance against the pomp that rock had become by 1976 and Radiohead's ongoing "difficult period" was as an action against the by-numbers rock band that they were afraid of becoming. In short, musical revolutions tend to happen for a reason. The mistake that Jakobinarina make from the outset is that their only reason is boredom.

"The First Crusade" sets itself up to be the voice of disaffected youth and, at times, it succeeds. "His Lyrics Are Disastrous" has strong hooks and a delicate melody that is intricately woven into the brash guitars and crashing cymbals and makes for a rather pleasant listen. For the two minutes and sixteen seconds that the song lasts, you are on Jakobinarina's side.

Unfortunately, this is the only time on the entire album that you are moved to feel like this. The first thing that hits you about the band performing as a whole is just how ill suited the vocals are to the music. From the opening into of "Monday I'm In Vain" Jakobinarina seem to be a bastard child of Arctic Monkeys and Mew. All very well, until the singing style of Dropkick Murpheys comes in and you wonder what the hell singer Gunnar was hearing in his cans when laying the vocals down. Its jarring, confusing and it simply does not fit.

Its a shame too as the musical side of the album is perfectly adequate, good even. The instrumental track, "End Of Transmission No.6" is one of the better tracks ironic as such tracks are normally only included as filler. What is most frustrating however is you can see what Jakobinarina were attempting with the album, reaching out to the stars with an urgent sounding, frenetic collection of songs detailing the mundane lives that, until this album, they led. Sadly, "The First Crusade" sounds very much like they have spend too long in their bedrooms, listening to records and sculpting in their heads and on their guitars what would be the perfect album.

But they got it desperately wrong. "The First Crusade" is a mess, the musical equivalent of what happens if you were to give a credit card to a fourteen year old. Rebellion is an important thing, but if you have nothing to really rebel against then it forms a poor basis to create art. The kids will probably love it, but most other people would be better off avoiding.