tempobet yeni adresi
like this vinyl review

19/05/2015 : SEVERED HEADS - Since the Accident/ City Slab Horror

SEVERED HEADS

Since the Accident/ City Slab Horror

MusicVinyl
Electronics

[90/100]   

Medical Records
19/05/2015, Paul PLEDGER

Australia's Severed Heads had a brief spell of attention in the UK during the '80s with several intriguing, if occasionally disturbing, electronic releases on Red Flame imprint Ink, before broadening their clubbing horizons on Play It Again Sam and Nettwerk. Prior to this, lynchpin Tom Ellard had already unleashed a handful of cassettes and records on his own Terse Tapes, including the now infamous Blubberknife set.

Famed as much for having outlandish song-titles, a guitarist called Simon Insectocutor and being a considerably influential outfit, Severed Heads took no prisoners with their earliest material. Adolf a Carrot?, Alaskan Polar Bear Heater and Acid Fur sound like Venetian Snares or Nurse With Wound song-titles - and aren't so far removed from either in a musical sense. In fact, play all of these artists simultaneously and you may have some idea of the sheer beautiful prospect that awaits you on these two reissues.

By the time Since The Accident appeared in 1983, Ellard and cohorts Insectocutor and Garry Bradbury were several albums deep. Decidedly more 'pop' than its predecessors, STA is nonetheless more than just pretty melodies and charming beats. Club hit Dead Eyes Opened is irresistible techno in the loosest form and still fills dance-floors thirty years on, while A Million Angels and Godsong demonstrate the band's reliance on pure orchestrated polyphonic voices from the heavens.

But perhaps the real masterpieces here are the more repetitive cyclical and disturbing forays into the downright leftfield. Gashing The Old Mae West is quite possibly the greatest dance record of all time derived purely from sampled sounds and hand-built machines. There are no beats - this is all about creating a totally terrifying cacophony that, in its extended 23 minute form, might turn you into a gibbering wreck. But it seriously 'grooves' - I played this at a house party in the late '90s after airing Time Becomes from the Brown Album by Orbital (who are big Heads fans, doncha know?). I saw someone cry, enough said. Here it's just six and a half minutes. Another gem is the lengthy Brassiere, In Rome, a hypnotic mantra that gradually evolves into an almost religious experience. And if you fancy blowing your speakers, head to the proto dub-stepper House Still Standing - you have been warned.

Follow-up album City Slab Horror is no less inventive and just as absorbing, especially when blasted through decent headphones. Hell, you even get a reprint of one of many 'Tech Refs' that Ellard printed up (in the pre-blog days of fanzines) to explain roughly how each track was joined together. Fascinating stuff for the geek or the curious certainly but it's the music that counts. The big single on here is the wonderfully-monikered Goodbye Tonsils. Think early Human League, then think again as a rib-cage busting kick-drum drives the track over a cliff. Sampled voices are once again squeezed through the mangler on Spastic Crunch and beats descriptively take over on Spitoon Thud.

On CSH you get your fair share of 'catchy' melodies once more with more song-based tracks such as 4WD and Now An Explosive New Movie, while the opposite ends of the instrumental spectrum are explored with the elegiac We Have Come To Bless This House and the brain-battering dance cut Cyflea, Rated R.

Issued in late 2014, both albums appear to be resurfacing on a few retailer websites again and come stamped on impressive coloured vinyl with exclusive inserts (but no downloads). Occasional hiss aside, boy do they sound punchy in their newly-remastered form.

If you think that '80s electro-pop starts and ends with synth-pop, Depeche Mode or Soft Cell or becomes decidedly niche with the likes of Coil, Belgian New Beat or Chicago House, you'll need just a few minutes in the company of either (or both) of these utterly essential albums to persuade you that all of these styles converged on a string of very fine releases by Severed Heads. You can seek some of them out on the band's Bandcamp page here - I'd head to Clifford and Big Bigot if you really have to have digital, Commerz on CD for a decent career retrospective or otherwise hold tight for future vinyl activity (or the original eighties versions, of course).

NB - Word has it that the must-have double-LP document Clifford Darling, Please Don't Live In The Past, released after City Slab Horror but containing early Terse Tapes compositions, might see the light of day later this year. Now that really is something to look forward to.

This review also appeared on Flipside Reviews

Paul PLEDGER
19/05/2015


Music reviews

20
09
JE T'AIME
Je T'aime
05
09
FOXY
X-Ray Spex Tribute
04
09
GRENDEL
Ascending The Abyss
03
09
SUICIDE COMMANDO
Hellraiser
03
09
W - FEST, AUG 18TH 2019
24
08
MEAGER BENEFITS
Crawling

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

NEWS

22
09
Today it’s been exactly 27 years since Nine Inch Nails released Broken (EP)
21
09
Industrial/Metal Band DECENT NEWS Announces The Release Of 'Monolith'
20
09
Warish streaming forthcoming full length debut ahead of release
19
09
Such Beautiful Flowers premières first video from upcoming Wool-E Tapes release.
06
09
KLONE RELEASE NEW SINGLE “HIDDEN PASSENGER” FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM LE GRAND VOYAGE
05
09
Industrial Rock Band CHMCL STR8JCKT Signs To Cleopatra Records - Wrtchd Thngs Album Details Revealed

Concert reviews

21
08
LES NEGRESSES VERTES
Live @ Moods Festival, Brugge - Belgium - 2.08.2019
07
08
DIARY OF DREAMS, STAR INDUSTRY, YOUR LIFE ON HOLD, A SLICE OF LIFE, LA SCALTRA
Summer event - za 3 augustus, Schoten
06
08
DE DELVERS, STAATSEINDE
Genste Feesten, Kinky Star , 28 juli 2019
14
07
MIDNIGHT OIL
MIDNIGHT OIL Live @ Rock Zottegem - Belgium - 05.07.2019
15
01
PALAIS IDEAL & DAGEIST
B52 - Eernegem - 16/12/2018
14
01
STAR INDUSTRY, DAGEIST, KEZDOWN
EGW- ROCK, Jeugdhuis Asgaard

GET A COPY OF OUR MAGAZINE
SEND TO YOUR HOME

INTERVIEWS

21
09
BRIAN JAMES(THE DAMNED,THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH)
'If it’s something that comes from your heart – you can do whatever you want do to!'
19
09
CHMCL STR8JCKT
An Interview With Chmcl Str8jckt
11
09
NOTNOTICE
I Like When There Are Noise Collages In The Music
08
09
ALEXA HUNTER(DISTURBED FURNITURE)
'Love or hate us, we are gonna kick out the jams while we still can!'
06
09
DAVID WM.SIMS(UNFACT,THE JESUS LIZARD,SCRATCH ACID)
'We had a great personal chemistry within the band!'

PHOTOS

22
09
WHISPERING SONS
Liege New Wave Festival
22
09
ASH CODE
Liege New Wave Festival
22
09
DARK SIDE EONS
Liege New Wave Festival
21
09
SISTERS OF MERCY
The Roundhouse London
21
09
AMENRA
The Roundhouse London
18
09
NEAR METH EXPERIENCE
Zappa Antwerpen
17
09
WAYNE HUSSEY SALAD DAZE TOUR
Movie Bielefeld

ADVERTISE
IN PEEK-A-BOO

Articles

26
04
JOBRIATH
Talent To Burn - The Legend Of Jobriath
29
03
VARIOUS ARTISTS
A BRIEF HISTORY OF: THE SPECIALS, SKA AND TWO TONE
27
03
VARIOUS ARTISTS
A BRIEF HISTORY OF: KRAUTROCK AND THE GERMAN MUSICAL REVOLUTION

VIDEO CLIPS

22
09
THE AMATORY MURDER
The Deadliest Rose
21
09
AESTHETIC PERFECTION
Love Like Lies
20
09
ROSARUBEA
Window Pain
19
09
THE UNDERTONES
Teenage Kicks
18
09
MIEL NOIR
L’ennemi
17
09
PRECIOUS CHILD
My Little Problem
16
09
PRECIOUS CHILD
Magic is Real