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Severed Heads \ Viva! Heads! [LTMCD 2464]

Viva! Heads! is a live album by Severed Heads, the Australian electro pioneers who've recorded some ten studio albums since 1979.

The set was digitally recorded at various live performances between 1998 and 2005, chiefly in Europe and Australia. Seamlessly edited by chief Head Tom Ellard, the music ranges from techno to electronica and modern composition (with a beat). Unusually for a live album crowd noise had been entirely removed, so that Viva! Heads! also works as a mix CD. Stand-out tracks include Greater Reward, Dead Eyes Opened and The Ant Can See Legs.

Says Tom Ellard: "We've taken the old tunes and renewed them - true to our past but relevant to new listeners. It's a compilation but kicks way above that - live versions known to please, spanning seven big years of festivals and nightclubs. Trust it!"

Tracklist:

1. The Ant Can See Legs
2. Dead Eyes Opened
3. Greater Reward
4. The Song of Sam
5. Anti Intellectual
6. Someone Who Doesn't Need Their Organs Anymore
7. Choose Evil
8. 2000 Freedoms Remain
9. Your Eyes Are Getting Bleepy
10. The Discovery of Christian Science
11. Book Burner
12. Formal Choices
13. Go

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Viva! Heads! [LTMCD 2464]
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Reviews:

"Severed Heads are legends in electronic music, and most of the tracks here are new or from the more recent releases. Greater Reward and Dead Eyes Opened are excellent classic tracks that still sound strong; other wonderful cuts include Choose Evil, Your Eyes Are Getting Bleepy and The Ant Can See Legs" (thetripwire, 01/2007)

"While crowd-pleasing favourites Dead Eyes Opened and Greater Reward certainly make appearances, the tracklisting takes in a diverse cross-section of Ellard's post-major label output, meaning that Viva! Heads! represents the perfect primer compilation for anyone unaware that Sevs continued to release albums post-Gigapus. As well as featuring tracks from Haul Ass and Op 1.2, the tracklisting also manages to pack in a suitably twisted remix of Your Kidneys from last year's Illustrated Family Doctor soundtrack, and even a handful of tracks previously released under Ellard?s Cok*La*Coma alias. In many ways Ellard's openly-expressed ambivalence towards his commercially successful early 90s electro-pop period comes across as curious in the light of the fact that it's clearly left an indelible imprint upon his later work, as this retrospective collection neatly illustrates" (Cyclic Defrost, 11/2006)

"Severed Heads are no newcomers to electronic music: the Australian unit has been doing its thing Down Under since the late '70s, when they first began manipulating tape loops and welding together uncanny sound collages. Through the years the iconoclastic, pioneering project has veered wildly between the poles of willful avant-garde-isms and the more unchallenging, song-based realms of electronic music. Viva! Heads! is an interesting album in that, as a live album, it chronicles a whole other life beyond the cloistered experimentation of the studio. The performances were captured in concert between 1998 and 2005, with the crowd noise sucked from the mix and complete re-workings of old tracks cropping up. The booklet also features visual highlights from the shows, which are true multimedia experiences. Highlights include the retro-synth-poppy drone of The Ant Can See Legs, the beat and spoken word pastiche Anti-Intellectual, and the outright tuneful (Depeche Mode comparable) Dead Eyes Opened. There's also more forward-thinking fare; in fact, Your Eyes Are Getting Bleepy wouldn't sound out of place on a Boards of Canada disc. But this album serves another purpose besides presenting a live document of longtime electronica masters - it is also a great compilation of Ellard's work, as well as a reminder that some of the praise heaped on such electronic pioneers as Kraftwerk over the years should have been diverted towards Australia" (All Music Guide)