Dark Entries digs deeper in to the archives of Severed Heads, one of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the Australian post-punk independent music scene. They began in Sydney in 1979, incorporating elements of ‘industrial’ noise-generation, tape cutting & looping and electronic sound synthesis. As the project developed song-structures and vocals were employed in a more-or-less recognizable mutant electro pop style. In 1986 the band released the 12” single “Petrol” on Nettwerk Records. We’ve decided to shed light on the evolution of “Petrol” with this EP showcasing four earlier incarnations of what became an instant synth pop classic.
“Petrol”, originally titled “Lamborghini”, was written by Garry Bradbury and Tom Ellard in 1981. The first version of the song featured vocals by Finoa Graham and music by Tom Ellard. “Lamborghini” was featured on a compilation of Experimental Australian bands titled “Entrave Et Étouffement, From Australia…” released by L’Invitation Au Suicide in April 1982. DJs in Chicago discovered the import compilation and “Lamborghini” became a proto-House secret weapon, traded on mix tapes. In July 1982, the band was invited to record several songs on Metro TV in Sydney to demonstrate the video synthesizer, a new piece of equipment played by Stephen Jones. The video synthesizer was installed into Metro’s control room above the main studio to process the performance in real time on two cameras while recording to video. Tom Ellard and Garry Bradbury were using analog synths and tape recorders along with the screaming guitar work of Simon Knuckey, while Garry took over vocal duties. In 1984 Tom took another stab at the song, re-recording and singing “Petrol” for the compilation “Beyond The Southern Cross”, a double compilation album of Electronic and Post-Punk bands from Australia and New Zealand. Finally in 1985, the band went into the Terse Tapes studio with producer Robert Racic to record “Petrol” for a 7” single release on Volition Records. Featured here is the B-side of the 7”, a cut-up dub “version” remixed by Racic and packed full of intensity.
All songs are remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Housed in a jacket featuring brightly colored, distorted, VHS graphics output by Stephen Jones’ video synthesizer created by Tom Ellard video piece “Kato Gets The Girl” in 1985, designed by Eloise Leigh. Each copy includes a postcard with notes and original hand-written lyrics by Garry Bradbury. More than 30 years later Severed Heads are still paving the way for powerful imaginative challenging music far and wide.