TAPE-LOOP MASTERMINDS, choice electronic "pop" weirdness
email@example.com | NYC | 01/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(Don't Be Afraid of their Name/Title!!) Recorded 1983 - 1984: Severed Heads (Garry Royall Bradbury, Paul von Deering, Thomas Temple Ellard) were piecing together exquisite collages of beats, angelic choirs, analog synths, guitar, and TAPES TAPES TAPES of utter craziness, rhythm and humor. Sometimes melodic/hypnotic and beat-oriented, sometimes blissful tape-loop trance, sometimes jittery and intense, and often all those to some degree at once. I still am blown away by this album (and "Since the Accident" (1982 - 1983) if you can find it). When I listen to it today, despite its somewhat "primitive" methods/instrumentation, I still find it RICH with sound and dense and WARM and ALIVE. You can almost picture 3 guys up to their necks in magnetic tape and odd-looking equipment. They never get mentioned as being anybody's influence but Skinny Puppy definitely dug them (Ellard provided tapes on at least one Puppy EP), and Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto) has sampled them and built entire tracks on Heads' rhythms. Their later work (especially after "Bad Mood Guy" (1987) -- tapework nearly disappears in favor of computer/synth/drum machine) can be hit and miss though there's great stuff on "Come Visit the Big Bigot" and even "Bad Mood Guy." (a couple of more recent albums, "Rotund for Success" and "Cuisine" (1991) are somewhat prettier pop and apparently out of print) More than anything, this early stuff is CREATIVE as all hell and definitely a precursor to the current wave of "intelligent dance music." If you're a lover of creative electronically oriented music (or just music, period), you should hear some of these albums, at least ground yourself in a nice bit of history. These guys really helped open up my brain in terms of appreciating musical/SONIC complexity. I LOVE MUSIC. I listen to EVERY sort of music I can (the entire range/history of jazz and classical and rock, country, blues, bluegrass, and folk traditions from all over the world) and "City Slab Horror" and "Since the Accident" will always rank as favorites."
Old but still good
firstname.lastname@example.org | 01/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The technology's primitive by early-21st century standards, but its heart's in the right place. This is perhaps the first Severed Heads album that showed that you could make an album that was both pop and experimental at the same time; tracks such as '4WD' are still beautiful nearly twenty years later, even if the recordings now sound faded and lo-tech. Recommended."
email@example.com | 07/01/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FUNKADELIC!! get it!!"