Benni Hemm Hemm Skot

Benni Hemm Hemm Skot
After the wonderful melancholy of last year's Retaliate, the upbeat pop demonstrated repeatedly by Benni Hemm Hemm comes as a bit of a shock. Also gone is the pared down sound, as Benedikt H. Hermannsson, the band's one constant, has assembled a larger collection of musicians to contribute to their fourth album. The result is a pleasant, if a little un-ambitious, record that's very reminiscent of Barafundle-era Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, where Welsh has been replaced with Icelandic. While the focus is definitely on the succinct, hooky tunes, it's the trio of meandering, slow building songs that stand out, thanks to their pacing and rich arrangements. But there isn't anything here that Hermannsson hasn't done previously and Skot does little to build upon the glories of its predecessor. (Kimi)