This is an Iceland-only compilation of stuff from Iceland's mighty Ham. It's loud, gravelly, operatic and glorious. Some say it's metal, but that's too simple (aren't all "labels"?). Download, play loud and see what you think.
Ham had one non-Iceland release that I'm aware of, "Buffalo Virgin" from the late 80's on a British label. One Little Indian I think. I picked this comp up in Iceland on a stop-over to Finland in '93. I've never seen it elsewhere.
Ham's singer, Ottarr, was an exchange student at my high school in the mid-80's. Well, I was out of school by then, but he became best friends with the girl I ended up marrying a few years later. But at the time, we were all friends. I remember we all went to an awesome Cure show at the Tower Theatre in '84. Hard to remember much else from that long ago, though, for various reasons, nefarious and otherwise. After he returned to Iceland and after I was married and living in NYC, he came to visit a couple times, once with Ham when they did a mini-tour. Really not much to say here...here's a pic, though! That's my friends Glenn and Robin on the left, Me in the middle doing I don't know what. I don't think puking...maybe sunstroke, and our man Ottarr on the right. Photo taken after a day at Rockaway Beach. Waiting for the 'A' Train back into the city, I think. Like '91 or so.
There's some good Ham stuff on Youtube from an Icelandic TV documentary. I don't wanna litter up my blog with Youtube clips, but you can search "Ham Iceland" to find 'em. Check out the Musculus clip. Ottarr doesn't have much to do in this clip but stand there and bob his head, but the song rules. And this totally blew me away when I saw it at the end of the clip:That's Ottarr in a short bit at the end of the song saying something in Icelandic, totally styling in a pink Misfits shirt! That I made for him! That's from like 25 years ago and I had totally forgotten about it! I got a good laugh, and the memories came flooding back. I found tons of super-cheap pink seconds at a flea market and printed these, as well as pink Black Flag 'Police Story' (you know, the Pettibon "Make Me Come, Faggot" one), Minor Threat, etc. We'd wear 'em out to shows and get the most...interesting reactions.
Ottarr has a new band, Dr. Spock, and they actually competed to be Iceland's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest this year! I guess after Lordy won, it's a free-for-all now. I lost track of it and don't know how it ended up...I know they made it to the Iceland finals. Anyway, they totally kick ass. Check out their Myspace page. Man, Icelandic bands fucking rule. Even Sigur Ros.
05. Gefðu mér ást
06. Lonesome Duke
07. Transylvania II
11. Auður Sif
12. Transylvania I
Get it HERE. Enjoy. Dress warm.
Ham's only LP released outside their native Iceland, 1989's "Buffalo Virgin", is HERE. Not the best copy, but not bad and the ONLY one on the web anywhere. And you've just gotta hear their version of ABBA's Voulez Vous!