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on 3 April 2002
Thor's Hammer are best known today among record collector's on the strength of their $1,000.00 plus E.P. "Umbarumbamba" recorded in 1966 in London and pressed as an export only on Parlophone records. Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland their sound was based on the records they were able to obtain from England and those that they heard while gigging at clubs on a nearby U.S. Air Force base. The band were a four piece who recorded originally in their native tounge but also cut several classic forays into freakbeat/beat in perfect English. In addition to the fuzz and angst tour de force of "Umbarumbamba"("Big Beat Country Dance"/"I Don't Care"/"My Life"/"Better Days") they also recorded two other singles("Once" b/w "A Memory" and "If You Knew" b/w "Love Enough") in the UK which also saw a release on Parlophone (again for export only). All of these change hands for insane prices, but the good people at Big Beat have kindly compiled all of the above plus their U.S. only 45 on Columbia("Stay"/"Show Me You Like Me") along with a bevy of earlier and later Icelandic language tracks and a previously unreleased English langauge number("By The Sea") from their UK recording sessions. The band's geographic and cultural isolation proved a fertile ground for some of the 60's most under rated , obscure and infectious beat music. "From Keflavik With Love" will not disappoint any fans of 60's beat, garage or freakbeat and is a must buy!
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on 12 July 2004
Despite containing the jaw-dropping 'I Don't Care', the often reissued 'My Life' and a couple of other fuzz gems most of the album is pleasant if somewhat sedate early '60s beat music. So there's no garage classic after another. If you're after that I recommend you buy the 'Maximum Freakbeat' comp which features the band.
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