Severed Heads – Since the Accident / Taxidermy
by blank outlines
Severed Heads is an Australian band that was formed in 1979 as Mr. and Mrs. No Smoking Sign. The original members were Richard Fielding and Andrew Wright, who were soon joined by Tom Ellard. The original members left the band and Tom Ellard began making music on his own. He eventually started recruiting extroverts that shared his vision and named his project Severed Heads. Early Severed Heads music was characterized by the use of tape loops, noisy arrangements of synthesizers and other dissonant sound sources, putting Severed Heads in the general category of industrial music.
I have not been able to find the first album anywhere, which is a damn shame, since the songs I heard from that album are the noisiest, tape morphed, and mindfucked tracks I have heard by them. Don’t get your panties in a wad, because I found some early Severed Heads nonetheless. There are two DL links below. The first link is the album Since the Accident. Much of the album includes avant tape experiments like “A Relic of the Empire,” “Brassiere, in Rome,” and “Alaskan Polar Bear Heater,” which merges the voices of an American middle-class everyman with an opera singer. This album is an essential first wave industrial record. Not all of the songs on this record sound like the track “House Still Standing,” which is a shame since that is my favorite song on the album.
The second DL link is not exactly Severed Heads, but features future member Garry Bradbury and a guest spot from Ellard. This tape is called “Taxidermy” by Wet Taxis. This rare tape displays the noisy, minimal, experimental foundation of what would become Severed Heads. Severed Heads should be an inspiration to all DIY musicians. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what kind of equipment you have, as long as you have ideas and the motivation to create sounds.