Monday, September 19, 2005

cult of the week - Surface Mutants

artist: Surface Mutants

title: You Take Me Somewhere Strange

year: 1982

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

cotw say…

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 -


Pete Mutant said...

Blimey. Just for verification, Kent had left to join the Chant, Nort was with us on Drums and noises, Jules had left, Christine Parker was on sax, Angie Birkett on keyboards (and very good too).

Richard was responsible for many of the indecipherable vocals.

Erik - cult with no name said...

Thanks for setting the record straight Pete, so to speak. Great EP.

Erik - cwnn

pussy galore said...

Wow, so was Pete Mtant the cute bassist with the cheeky smile?

P Galore

Cuong Vu saved my life said...

The Four From the Floor EP has "Madly in Love with Madelane" and there's the "Anaesthetic" c/w "When are we (Now we are)" single. Driven taught mania. I love it. Strange toons to hum meandering down the streets but Surface Mutants vinyl is amongst my most treasured.

theo paijmans said...

great Ep - here's what I found about the bass player who is currently active in music:

nort said...

hello pete and fellow mutants ...i loved making the noise we made...and the cabs sessions were fantastic and very memorable...take care all.x.