Severed Heads

Rotund for Success

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The Australian group Severed Heads specialize in bizarre electronic sound collages that may or may not be entirely tolerable. Rotund for Success, released in 1989, is one of the band's better efforts, actually focusing more on actual songs than avant-garde experimentation. Main Head Tom Ellard has succeeded in crafting several catchy, if not weird, pop tunes on Rotund for Success, especially "All Saints Day" and the engaging "Big Car." Producer Robert Racic's appearance behind the boards is a big plus; considering his production expertise on fine albums by the techno-pop group Boxcar and the more atmospheric Single Gun Theory, it's no surprise his influence is evident throughout Rotund for Success. For a band often associated with the more aggressive, noncommercial sounds of industrial music (like Throbbing Gristle and Skinny Puppy), the more pop-friendly approach on Rotund for Success is surprising, if not entirely successful. Much of the material is light as a feather, floating by without making much of an impression. Still, Rotund for Success is a pleasurable (though not completely rewarding) listen.

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