I’m feeling about nostalgic about this four month old blog since I’ve had so much fun working on it, so since Blog Year One is almost in the books I decided to revisit the very first band I ever wrote about here back in September, 2012: Þeyr (aka Theyr). While in Reykjavik for Airwaves I snagged a copy of their 1981 10″ Iður til Fóta from, where else, Lucky Records. I’ve always found Þeyr to be some really trippy stuff, but it’s super hard to find, even in Iceland, so unfortunately it carries a pretty hefty price tag. The cheapest listing for this 10″ on Discogs is $95… though to be honest I don’t know exactly what I paid for my copy since it was part of a big stack of vinyl I bought that day. It was released on the band’s own label, Eskvímó,
Wikipedia actually provides some decent info on this disc, both providing an English translation of the title (“Moving Your Feet”, which in Icelandic is also supposedly some type of pun that can also mean “Guts at Your Feet”… which is both gross and funny) as well as a detailed description of the material on the back cover, which includes quotes in German and Latin about the end of the world, with references to the Nordic Ragnarök, the Old Testament flood, and the Book of Revelations. The dudes from Þeyr were always a bit out there in trying to expand people’s minds. And besides, what’s more punk than talking about the end of the world and collapse of society? Especially when you can throw in some Norse mythology references.
The songs themselves are classic Þeyr – somewhat disjointed, quasi punk-new wave, with lots of weird chords and progressions that pretty much force you to listen to it, because your brain won’t let you ignore it. It defies attempts to categorize, or to some extent to even fully comprehend, and the Icelandic vocals only add to the effect (at least for non-Icelandic speakers). That being said, judging by the later successes that the various members later went onto I’m pretty sure they knew what they were doing musically.
In 2001 Þeyr released a “greatest hits” CD called Mjötviður til Fóta, which includes three of the four tracks from ður til Fóta (excluding “Ariareggae” – which claims to be a reggae track, but I’m not hearing it…) and uses elements of the cover of this 10″. Even this CD is hard to find – a quick search didn’t reveal any copies available for sale online, though we did run across one copy while in Reykjavik (which I convinced a friend of mine that he needed to buy immediately). If you can find it, it will likely be the only affordable access to the band’s work unless you stumble across a copy of the vinyl being sold by someone who doesn’t know what they have (I found a copy of their EP The Fourth Reich at a record store in Sweden… but unfortunately for me they did know what they had…).