• Reptile
  • Ivar Bongo EP (Bad Taste) 1989 
  • Fame and Fossils (Bad Taste) 1990 

Oh, those wacky Icelanders! Related to the Sugarcubes through keyboardist Magga Örnólfsdottir (who appears on the four-song EP but left in ’88, prior to Reptile’s album), this Reykjavik quintet’s full-length debut is a charming hubbub of marimba, banjo, violin and sax, as well as guitar, bass and drums. Fame and Fossils fuses a version of the Sugarcubes’ bizarre theatrics (I wouldn’t attempt to grasp the logic of songs like “Gun Fun,” “Candyflos War” or “What Are You Up To,” in which giggling Magga Stina requests that the song’s object “hit me on the forehead”) to an mad-jazz orientation, coming up with a dizzying pastiche that would be equally at home in a Spike Jones tribute show and an avant-garde multi-media performance.

[Ira Robbins]