artist: Surface Mutants
title: You Take Me Somewhere Strange
label: Rock Steady Records
personnel: none listed (possibly pete brennan, richard parrot, kent, angie, jules, nort)
tracklisting: train, help below, you take me somewhere strange
smalltime Sheffield combo Surface Mutants only managed one standalone EP, but nonetheless warrant special mention as one of the better obscure bands to record at Cabaret Voltaire’s legendary Western Works studio.
it’s hard to resist confirming that ‘You Take Me Somewhere Strange (and you leave me there)’ does anything else than just that. the Cabs’ tinny, scratchy production gives the EP a quite pleasant, if decidedly dissonant, ambiance. the simple bass lines, frequent drum fills and taught guitars of ‘Train’ and ‘Help Below’ rely heavily on varying degrees of phaser, delay and reverb, with additional electronics hissing randomly in and out of the mix. the creepy title track, by contrast, abandons the undanceable funk for something that sounds nothing short of the early Cabs attempting to cover ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, complete with anguished, largely indecipherable, vocals.
complete with ill-fitting goth cover art to (somewhat) mislead you, this record is certainly far from superficial.
erik - www.cultwithnoname.com