On Saturday, November 12th, Icelandic post-rock quartet, For a Minor Reflection played a gig at The Rock Shop, the same venue they’d played at several months before… but certainly not the same show.
And I’d thought I’d already figured out this band’s sound! I’d brought my earplugs, knowing there’d be lots of ear-busting post-rock-out sessions. I’d witnessed their set blow people through walls (metaphorically, of course). But that was March, and since that last time, they’d played SXSW (Austin, TX), the Sziget Festival (Budapest, Hungary), and Iceland Airwaves, not to mention the fact that they’d also released a magnificent EP. I could tell you more about it, but I won’t. That’s another article in the making.
Just past the front door, I waded through the thickish crowd, there to see one, two, or all three of the bands playing that night (seemingly in order of geographical distance): Team Genius (Brooklyn), For a Minor Reflection (Iceland), and Rubik (Finland). These four young musicians swayed back and forth with their instruments onstage, certainly going beyond the limitations of the music and space; in fact, the music nearly rocked guitarist Guðfinnur Sveinsson off of that tiny stage! I saw many more people in the audience with their mouths gaped open this time, especially during my favorite FaMR moments: the transitions between loud and quiet that manage to surprise everyone.
In between songs, Guðfinnur and Kjartan did their usual witty stand-up of sorts. One of my favorite lines, said to preface the slow burner song “Sjáumst Í Virginíu” (See You in Virginia) was “We’re about to play a long song now… so don’t go.” There’s just something about their cadences and pauses that make much of what they say between these powerful (and, at times melancholic) songs so damn funny.
Things felt different this time. It became apparent that the newer material both blended well with and soared past older material. I stood there and realized my mouth was gaping open. Their music had grown louder, stronger, and more complex than I had ever expected to hear less than a year later.