Peyr – Mjot Records 1982

Public / Metamorphosis

Zen / Blood

Third single from this Icelandic band, a band that eventually metamorphosed into KUKL and then The Sugarcubes. All early Icelandic singles are very rare, this 12″ being no exception. Recorded in 1982, there is a slight Killing Joke feel to the sound on all these tracks, not surprisingly as Jaz Coleman and Geordie from Killing Joke were constant visitors to Iceland at this time, and early supporters of the Icelandic music scene. Peyr and Jaz Coleman went onto record material under the name Niceland which was not released. 

The sleeve depicts Wilhelm Reich, a psychiatrist, psycho-analyst and writer, who was labelled a Communist Jew by the Nazi Party, so he escaped from Germany in 1934 to settle briefly in Scandinavia. During the Nazi period of German history all of Wilhelm Reich’s books were destroyed, and subsequently banned. The writer made it to the U.S. in 1939.

In 1947, following a series of critical articles about orgone in The New Republic and Harper’s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into his claims, and won an injunction against the interstate sale of orgone accumulators. Charged with contempt of court for violating the injunction, Reich conducted his own defense, which involved sending the judge all his books to read. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA. He died of heart failure in jail just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.

It must be noted that the Peyr sleeve artwork has not got a swastika on it. The armband shown on the cover contained the symbol of the orgone physics, which represented duality and its origins in unity, referred by Reich as functionalism.

Peyr had a two LP’s and a handful of singles released in the band’s lifetime, these are no longer available as far as I know.

Use the search function to hear the debut KUKL single, also Crass, KUKL and other Icelandic bands perform in the ‘We Are The Future Festival’ held in 1983.

  1. lee23
    March 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Great stuff, i’ve got a very bad quality recording of the Niceland demo, even thru the hiss its very powerful and direct, equal to anything from either band. Really got into Peyr because their record sleeves seemed really intriguing, they stood out in the racks of generic punk sleeves

  2. Chris
    March 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Weird. I’ve got this Peyr but as a 12″. Got it when it came out after reading in either Sounds or NME that it WAS in fact a member of Killing Joke who had recorded it with some Icelandic Musicians. Didn’t know it was the same folk who went on to be KUKL.

  3. lee23
    March 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    The UK issue was on Shout Records and had a different cover, im sure i had another release on this label by another band but my memory defeats me ?
    Peyr also included Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson who later joined psychic tv which probably explains the esoteric magickal references.

  4. Chris
    March 24, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Lee, Could the other release you had on that label be a white funk type affair by a band called The Headhunters? Sort of Egyptian Sphinx on the cover or something? I used to have that but flogged it a while back.

  5. lee23
    March 24, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Oh yes the headhunters, thanks Chris, they were a kind of funked up killing joke now my memories been jogged, there was a few killing joke inspired bands around that time, 1919, red beat, agent orange, peyr….

  6. lee23
    March 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    ooops sorry i meant ski patrol not agent orange, i think that was one of their songs or was it red beats ???, doh !

  7. Nic
    March 25, 2008 at 10:21 am

    The great Phoenix Hairpins blog has made available Shout Records releases by The Headhunters, Hack Hack and Wicked Kitchen Staff…
    (Google it, and then use the search function in the blog)…
    Shout also released a mini-album by Vonbrigdi (a group of 13 – 16 year olds from Iceland – the name means Disappointment) who again had a very Killing Joke inspired Post Punk sound…

    The Headhunters put out an LP, 12″ and 7″ on Shout Records (as well as other records on different labels)…
    One of their members (Finn P) had been in The Eyes who released a couple of singles on Raw Records…

    Yes, it was Ski Patrol, Lee: ‘Agent Orange’ was their first single for Malicious Damage and featured Ian Lowery (ex- The Wall)…

    Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson went on to record with other people besides PTV including the Hafler Trio, Current 93 and his own HOH project, before beginning to compose for cinema…

  8. Claus
    May 18, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I have the very great Vonbrigdi 7″ Skitseithi EP. I also have some other Icelandic 7″ singles.

    I am hoping someone in here knows what they are worth or can point me to a website with some information?

    Thank you very much! 🙂

    Kind regards

  9. Hrannar
    July 17, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    for those interested, the name is Þeyr. the Þ is a TH sound. Theyr

  10. Jon Moreno
    Jon Moreno
    October 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Could anyone help me get a copy of the Peyr-Jaz Coleman demos?
    I can be reached on

  11. Des Dung
    Des Dung
    October 9, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I’ve got The Fourth Reich 12″ tracks: Public; Metamorphosis; Zen & Blood (1982 Shout record label.)

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