Published June 27, 2003


Founded in 1980 Þeyr, or Theyr for those who don’t like Icelandic letters, released a number of records, EP’s and LP’s over their short lifespan of 3 years. Members were Hilmar Örn Agnarsson (bs/txt), Magnus Guðmundsson (voc), Þorsteinn Magnússon (guitar), Guðlaugur Óttarson (guitar) and Sigtryggur Baldursson (drums).

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, now the leader of the Nordic pagan religion in Iceland, managed the band and acted as a sort of ideological guide adding his occult influence to the lyrics and stage performances of the band. Drummer Sigtryggur later founded the Sugarcubes, Björk’s pre-world fame group. Þeyr was the most promising band to rise from the Icelandic punk wave in the early eighties, the most experimental group of them all, and the one that had the best musicians on board. The band toured England under the name Thule on a quest for a record deal, but with little luck. The band still released one English language album titled As Above, the album was also released in Iceland, under the name “Mjötviður Mær”. The album “Mjötviður til Fóta” is a digitally remastered reissue of that album and another album titled “Iður til Fóta.” Both albums were recorded at the same time, in the same studio with the same engineer, so patching them together like this does no harm,
“Mjötviður til Fóta” kicks out punk-funk jams in the apocalyptic style of the Fall and the Killing Joke, dark guitar work also shows strong traces of Bauhaus and Joy Division, while there’s more than a hint of the Resident’s art-rock terrorism in the weirdly distorted, declamatory vocals and the idiosyncratic songwriting. The album is lunatic with screams and laughter, but also political as the song Rudolf refers not to the happy reindeer but the less loved Adolf Hitler. The lyrics you usually don’t notice, the vocals are often obscured by the band’s inspired musical turbulence, and are, though in Icelandic, hard to understand even for Icelanders.
The band broke up in 1983 and their swansong was three tracks recorded with Jaz Coleman of the Killing Joke, under the name “Lunaire.” The tracks remain unreleased but are said to be, by the few that have had the chance to listen to them, the most interesting work of the band and some even dare to state it as the most interesting recordings ever made in Iceland. Personally I can´t wait to hear them!

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