Chernobyl Jazz Club – Grìmulaust

Chernobyl Jazz Club
Label: Argonauta Records
Out: November 25th, 2022
Playin time: 29:07

The band name sounds as if Chernobyl Jazz Club wanted to take part in an award for the weirdest name. If I hadn’t read in the press info that the Icelanders play Hard Rock, I might have deleted the promo E-Mail immediately. The band was formed in the winter of 2019, and the final line-up was in place a little over one year later. With “Grìmulaust” (possibly: “Unvarnished”), the debut album is now available. Recorded in the record time of only two weekend sessions. 

As the song titles suggest, Chernobyl Jazz Club sing in their mother tongue. “Jazzklubburinn” is in fact named after the band itself. You can hear a powerful raw guitar and drum sound. Amalía’s clear but slightly snotty-sounding vocals match this. In “Svarta Uti Skrimslid” the guitars are frying, and the vocals have a heavy punk edge. The guitars could also be from the good old Punk’n’Roll days, with some filigree solos. The rhythmic “Instarass”, on the other hand, is more melodic. “Mord” (or perhaps better “Morð”) is characterised by shrill guitar sounds. Later, very much leaning towards Doom Metal, the song is one of my favourites. “Rudvalgur” is again very rhythmic. Banging riffs are paired with shrill guitars. And again, a great guitar solo. Summers are short on the island between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. That’s how the melancholic “Sumarid Er Allt Of Stutt” comes across with its folkloristic influences. On the other hand, “Utfor Adalsins” is much more rocking and also faster. The closing song “Langar” stomps rhythmically almost majestically.

If you want to listen to a well-made Rock album that sounds melodic for the most part, but is nevertheless far away from any mainstream, you should not be put off by the band name and definitely listen to “Grìmulaust”. Chernobyl Jazz Club are something very special. Varied compositions and a modern production characterise the album. Amalía’s singing is unique. And thanks to the song lyrics written in Icelandic, the songs have an exotic flair.

Chernobyl Jazz Club – Ruðvalgur (Lyrics):


Siggi – Guitar
Elli – Bass
Hreiðar – Drums
Amalía – Vocals 

Label: Argonauta Records

Out: November 25th, 2022

Playin time: 29:07

Track list:

  • Jazzklubburinn
  • Svarta Uti Skrimslid
  •  Instarass
  • Mord 
  • Rudvalgur
  • Sumarid Er Allt Of Stutt
  • Utfor Adalsins 
  • Langar
  • 9/10
    Album - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Cover Art - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Songwriting - 8/10