Boomkat Product Review:
Prime late ‘80s industrial synth pop and dance musick by Australia’s finest, produced with New Order collaborator Robert Racic, and reissued with nine bonus “lost” original versions and remixes RIYL Throbbing Gristle, Kraftwerk, Skinny Puppy and Cabaret Voltaire, Recoil.
‘Bad Mood Guy’ (1987) is the follow-up to Severed Heads’ evergreen ‘The Big Bigot’ and a genre classic of late ‘80s industrial craft, where synth-pop and EBM club musick were galvanised by new studio technology to steely late decade highlight of the artform when artists were caught between flash DX7 synths and knocking on new DAWs of perception.
Tom Ellard typically helms the recording, which also benefits from input by film maker/homebrew video synthesiser operator Stephen Jones, and effects producer Robert Racic in 1987, the same year that he remixed ‘Paradise’ off New Order’s ‘True Faith’ 12”. Personnel assured, the album is coiled with whirring club mechanics that lead off from Severed Heads’ all-timer ‘Dead Eyes Opened’ to a more quizzical form of dance-pop with a flash steely edge, cantering between the crisply shearing FM synths and punchy edits of ‘Nation’ and ‘Jetlag’ to slow grinding zingers on ‘Unleash Your Sword’ and ‘Heaven Is What Heaven Eats’, thru to a dead sexy title tune, and moody orientalism of ‘Dressed in Air’.
The alternate mixes are rawer, wickedly cruddier, taking in a sleazy spin on ‘Bad Mood Guy (Day 1)’ and the screwed DX7 bass of ‘Unleash Your Sword (Day 1)’, plus the superb proto-electronica designs on ‘Nature 10 (Terse)’, sequenced beside a live cut ‘I’ve Always Hated Severed Heads’ realign NWW of that same era, the hip-shot laser stabs of ‘Hot With Fleas (12” Remix)’ and, erm, what sound slick Joolz Holland doing EBM in ‘Nation (NYC mix)’.