We’re finally back home after yet another fantastic Iceland Airwaves, and I brought back a ton of vinyl. So after a marathon cleaning session and a few long days of work, we finally made it to a rainy Saturday morning, and my car is in the shop, so I have nothing at all to do except sit down and spin some records.
I still had some new purchases sitting on my shelves when we left for our trip, and they’re still sitting there looking forlorn and wondering if they’ll ever get played. Don’t fret John Grant and Mad Season and Rick James… you’ll all get your turns. But for now there are a few items I brought back from Iceland that I’m particularly excited about, so you’ll just need to be patient.
Purrkur Pillnikk is the first of the old-school Icelandic punk bands I “discovered” when I made my first foray to Reykjavik’s Lucky Records about four years ago, and they’re still one of my favorites. This year I got the added pleasure of getting to see Ghotigital, the duo that features former Pillnikk singer (and member of The Sugarcubes) Einar Örn, in a very intimate setting at the record store/label he owns, Bad Taste. There might have been about 35 people packed into that store, while more stood outside on the sidewalk and looked in, so no one was more than maybe 15 feet from Einar. Since his partner in crime Curver was a few minutes late in showing up, Einar simply hung out and talked to us about being a punk and politics and all kinds of other stuff, and he was very engaging. Fast forward a couple of days and Norberto and I went out to Einar and Curver’s gallery showing and were the only ones there early on Sunday, so Einar took us around the entire gallery and talked with us about art. It was one of my all-time Airwaves highlights. Takk, Einar.
So what about the No Time To Think 7″? Well, this was the last record I needed to complete my collection of Purrkur Pillnikk releases, and while I’ve bid on a few copies on eBay I never managed to win one. As soon as I saw it at Lucky I knew I had to have it, so I added it to my massive stack of vinyl.
Now, I already have all four of the songs on No Time To Think, as they were all included in the two CD Purrkur Pillnikk compilation Í Augum Úti that was released in 2001, but that wasn’t going to stop me from getting this scarce record. Originally released in 1982 and clocking in at under eight minutes, No Time To Think stands out in the Pillnikk catalog for being done entirely in English (as near as I can tell). It includes probably my favorite song by the band, the 1:01 burst that is “Surprise,” and if you listen closely to “Excuse Me” I firmly believe you can hear the very very beginnings of what would eventually be the signature Einar vocal delivery style that he’s known for today in his work with Ghostigital.
I can’t say enough about the frenetic energy of Purrkur Pillnikk. If you’re a punk fan who is open to stuff that doesn’t fall into the standard punk rock templates, you need to check out their work, and since much of the catalog is available on iTunes via the previously mentioned compilation (which I believe includes all their albums and singles with the exception of 1981s Ehgjl En), you simply don’t have an excuse. Give them a listen and expand your mind.