This Icelandic freakbeat band – formed in 1963 and known in their own country as Hljómar – became something of a legend on the British mid-60s underground scene.
Regarded at home as “the Icelandic Beatles“, they released two singles before venturing to the UK, where they signed with Parlophone and released the EP Umbarumbamba, which is now a valuable collector’s item. From these sessions also came the singles Once and If You Knew and mod stompers My Life and I Don’t Care.
The band even attempted a single entitled Stay in the United States on Columbia Records before calling it a day in 1969.
A number of Thor’s Hammer members went on to form the prog rock-flavoured band Trúbrot, which recorded four albums before breaking up in 1973.
All of the band’s English-language output was collated for the 2001 compilation From Keflavik With Love.
Rúnar Júlíusson died on 5 December 2008 of a cardiac arrest. He was 63.
Patricia “Shady” Owens
Gunnar Jökull Hákonarson