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"Late night"

Lido at 1.15 felt, looked and was like a singles convention in a sad, sad way. 60 people or so sat around with their feet firmly planted on the carpet floor and Xxxxx Xxxxxx's slow, symphonic synth-rock did nothing to get people out of their chairs.

Fortunately MORDINGJARNIR came to the rescue, filling the floor in front of the stage with their three chord punk rock and even managing to get some punters dancing shirtless and spilling their beers. MORDINGJARNIR obviously know the subtle art of connecting with their audience with the result being one of this festival's best shows. - The Reykjavik Grapevine - Iceland Airwaves Special

"Worth Three Beers"

Album review for "I gotunni minni"

High-velocity trashcan punk from the not-so-gritty streets of suburban Iceland, this scant half-hour of awkwardly political sound-destruction plays and feels tight and well-constructed, but subtleties of direction and vitality are rather lacking, sometimes desperately so. Nevertheless, MORDINGJARNIR'S debut is a fresh breath of meaningful air that rises head-and-shoulders above the pathetic indie mishmash and tiresome hardcore genre excersises practiced by their fellow scenesters, and is a perfect little album in its own right, blessed with a refreshing purity and well-captured energy, especially on the Slayer-esque frustration and fury of Drep Ykkur Oll and wanton schoolboy recklessness of Lest Það Ekki I Bók.

Review by Sindri Eldon - The Reykjavik Grapevine

"And punk it shall be!"

Mordingjarnir - I gotunni minni

**** (four stars) - Morgunbladid

"Afram Island! - Mordingjarnir"

Áfram Ísland! - Morðingjarnir

"Áfram Ísland! (Go Iceland!) is the second album from the punk threepiece that sprang from Dáðadrengir, a rock/rap band that won the Icelandic version of the battle of the bands a few years back. Morðingjarnir are true to their roots, and play punk to serve the masses. Nothing too complicated, just stuff that makes you want to scream and headbutt someone. More than anything, they evoke memories of the Icelandic cult favorites Innvortis, although international listeners might prefer the tag So-Cal to put them in their respective category. It might be fitting, it is just not as relevant. 14 songs in all, Áfram Ísland! runs smoothly and makes for one of the most positive listening experiences of the year." SBB

Reykjavik Grapevine - The Reykjavik Grapevine

"Middle East Music Fest"

Excerpt from a live-review:

"As the evening progressed, the music got heavier and heavier but this was almost perfectly in tune with the audience; the crowd built and levels of enthusiasm crept up from a rather stale 8pm start to a rowdy reception for three-piece punk band Morðingjarnir. Their set sparkled with humour, energy and blasts of metal that happily defied the language barrier to leave everyone wondering what else the organisers could throw into the musical mixing pot." - The Reykjavik Grapevine

"I Never Went South Festival"

Excerpt from a live-review:

"More positive friction ensued as the calm was roundly shattered by Mordingjarnir, who rotundly delivered thrashed up punk which exploded into 1,000 pairs of ears simultaneously. Whereas some bands choose to sing in English, some mix and match and occasionally plump for an American inflection - there’s a core of acts that sing vehemently in Icelandic, harmonising their spiky rock with their terse plosives in their native tongue and Morðingjarnir lead the charge on their indigenous funk."

Link: - Clash Music

"Mordingjarnir - interview"

Words by Sveinn Birkir Björnsson

So, your second album is out, and it has received glowing reviews from every critic.
Haukur: Well, I’m not going to tell you that it received better reviews that what we expected. We expected it to receive very good reviews. But it is still fun.

The punk scene has not been very prominent in Icelandic mainstream media. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a punk album receive such favourable reviews in the mainstream media. Is this the beginning of a punk revival you think?
Atli: I don’t know. Music is often difficult to define; I don’t really know who is doing punk anymore. Haukur: There is lot of punk bands actually, but most of them never make an album.
Atli: Yes, you often hear one song on Myspace, or see a band play live one or two times, and then they disappear. Nothing happens. Today it is really easy to make a record, using this new digital technology, so that shouldn’t be a problem. We did our first record for almost no money. But we are putting more into the second album.
Haukur: But I don’t know how truly punk we are. A lot of bands just make punk music as sort of a joke. And really, that’s how this band started initially, until we got more serious about it. But I think a lot true punkers, the one’s that have safety pins in their cheeks, they probably don’t think we are really punk.

I reviewed your album in the last issue, and I said that there was a lot of influence from (Icelandic punk greats) Innvortis on this album.
Haukur: Yes, that is a little strange; you are not the first person to say that. When we made our first album, we were listening to Innvortis a lot, and hanging out with them and we thought they were really cool.
Atli: They even played on one song on that album.
Haukur: But now, they could all be dead to me. I don’t see them and I don’t hear from them. And now we make an Innvortis album. This was not a conscious decision.

It must have seeped in at the time.
Haukur: Probably. But we are still a lot better than Innvortis. But we are not unhappy with the comparison.
Atli: A lot of times when we are working on songs, they have working titles from the bands that we think is sounds like. The Pixies Song, The Slayer Song and so on. Maybe we are not the best people to judge this.

How did this band come about?
Atli: After Dáðadrengir folded, which is the band we were all in before Morðingjarnir, we were just hanging around, the three of us in our practice space and we wanted to make some music.
Haukur: And Dáðadrengir sure as hell were not going to be making music.
Atli: No, and Haukur is not a very good guitar player, and I am not a very good bass player, but Helgi is an OK drummer, so it made most sense to make some punk. If we had decided to make progmetal, it would probably have been a complete failure. Or anything else for that matter. Punk was just a starting point for us, at some time, we even considered doing something else, but..
Haukur: We didn’t really form this band because we think punk is the greatest musical genre in the world. It is just one of many types of music that we like. We are more accidental punkers. But we have discussed our ideas for making a ska-record and an industrial record, and so on. But we just don’t feel like it.
Atli: Now, obviously, we have become an established punk band.
Haukur: We have made two punk albums already. Our next album is probably going to sound a lot better but be a little less interesting musically. That is the usual arch of a punk band. More of the same, only worse.

I wanted to ask you about a song you wrote especially for the Iceland Airwaves festival and Morgunblaðið (Iceland’s biggest daily newspaper) called it the worst song ever written, or something similar.
Atli: Ah, yes. We found that to be a very remarkable comment.

It was particularly remarkable because it was written anonymously and did not appear in relation to any review. It just appeared in the middle of the page, totally out of nowhere. It would have made more sense if this was written as a review by someone.
Haukur: I still wouldn’t have understood it, because I think it is the best song ever written in Iceland.
Atli: Still, we were kind of happy with the comment. I think it is a very perky song, perky to the point where it becomes intolerable. Very in-yourface. I could understand if people found it intolerable, and to get such a harsh comment on it, that’s a lot more fun than if someone had said it was mediocre. Being mediocre sucks.
Haukur: The question is if we have created a tradition. Whether we will make a new Airwaves song for the next festival or if the radio stations will just keep playing this one.

Many reviewers have noted the lyrics on the album especially, which are great. How do you go about writing the lyrics?
Haukur: I write the lyrics, mostly. The music is more of a collaborative project, but I have taken responsibility for the lyrics, at least for this record. I was either just inspired by something that I wanted to write about, but a lot of times I just grabbed the rhyme dictionary and worked from there. Some of the lyrics are a very sharp criticism of our society; they are not all as perky as the Airwaves song.
Haukur: No, that’s true.

Is that just a part of being in a punk band? Writing critical lyrics.
Haukur: No, although we are in a punk band, I don’t think we are your typical punks per se. We both went to the Commercial College of Iceland.
Atli: I bought this sweater in Jack & Jones. Haukur: The lyrics as such are not intended to fill out the punk stereotype. I am just this clever, you see.
Atli: Every time Haukur comes in with a new songs, he has a little story constructed around it. ‘You guys know this type, right? The drug addict, he is this old, has a girlfriend that’s a lot younger and they both wear jogging pants and hang out at the bar Monaco and shoot up in the toilet.’ He always has this little scene constructed around each song.
Haukur: I think the best lyrics are the oldest ones, and the ones I wrote a quarter to midnight the day before we went into the studio. A lot of lyrics ended up in the trash. I don’t think I am a very good poet. Or, I think I am a great poet, I am a very good poet, but I have excellent quality control.

It is a little tempting to relate your lyrics to the fact that you have been going to film school and you are becoming a film maker. Are your lyrics another manifestation of your desire to tell stories?
Haukur: I really like telling stories, that’s true. But I have never related the two, but you are right, there is probably a relation. But the main thing is that I hate to punch a clock in the morning, so I just want to make punk or movies, and hopefully one of the other will work out and then I won’t have to work in a mayonnaise factory.
Atli: I want to add that I have known Hakur for more than ten years, and he is still telling me new stories. I think there is a lot to the hypothesis that this is nature as storyteller breaking out. He really is a great storyteller.
Haukur: That’s probably true. I really enjoy meeting new people for example, because that means I can start at the beginning and retell all the stories I know. - The Reykjavik Grapevine


"Morðingjarnir (The Murderers) hail from Reykjavik, Iceland, and are like a breath of fresh air in the local scene, though there's by no means lack of interesting bands. They play punk rock with their tounges planted firmly in their cheeks, and their second album, Áfram Ísland! (Go Iceland!), hit the stores on March 13th. One reviewer described it "like being hit in the crotch with a beef hammer", and meant that as a compliment. Influenced equally by punk bands such as Buzzcocks and metal bands like Slayer, this frisky trio was formed by former members of electro hiphop band Dáðadrengir, which at one point included Bjork's son Sindri Eldon." - Indie MP3


Afram Island! (2008)

I Gotunni Minni - LP (2006)



Mordingjarnir formed in the summer of 2005 and have played somewhere around 100 shows since.

Influences are too many to name, because the members come from different backgrounds.
First we have the whiny sidebag-wearing indie-kid who goes to art school and writes poetry.
Second, is the overweight and bearded metalhead who screams a lot and crushes empty beercans on his forehead.
And last, we got the gentle hiphop-giant. A collector of Beastie Boys bootlegs and also an amateur DJ himself.
These are the personalities that Mordingjarnir is made of. They might not have too much in common,
but their love for the Dead Kennedys and Woody Allen-films brought them together, and on stage they truly are as one.

Mordingjarnir have shared a stage with countless local bands, and even a few cool bands from other countries.
Too name a few: Boys in a Band, Municipal Waste, Shai Hulud, Throwing Muses, Bones Brigade and a few more.

Mordingjarnir released their debut LP in the spring of 2006.
"I gotunni minni" got good reviews from the local press.

Their 2nd LP (Afram Island!) was released earlier this year and got great reviews from every critic.

Local newspapers:

Morgunbladid - 4,5/5

DV - 5/5

Frettabladid - 3/5


Monitor - 8.6/10

Mordingjarnir appeared in Susan Dynner's punk-documentary "Punk's Not Dead".
Although the segment is short, the Icelandic hooligans made it to the final cut.