Portland-by-way-of-Austin US hardcore punk juggernauts Severed Head of State recently put up three 14-song studio releases on their website to be streamed for free. This is big news coming from one of the more relentlessly heavy-hitting American hardcore acts of the last 20 years.
Altogether, 42 remastered songs have been made available for listening on the band’s official severedheadofstate.com webpage, including the 14-song Early Years collection, the much-acclaimed Anathema Device LP from 2003, and my personal favorite, the 2007 EP or (mini-LP) Power Hazard. The songs can also be purchased individually; as of now there are no plans for a vinyl version of these remasters. The website is the only place to get them or hear them.
The remastered versions that have been put up on severedheadofstate.com arrive after a remastering process that has lasted over 3 months at Enormous Door Studios in Austin, Texas, spearheaded by the studio’s owner, Jack Control – also the singer of Severed Head of State. With the Enormous Door treatment, the songs have significantly more power than earlier versions: the drums pound and resonate with more “oomph,” and the guitars sound heavier, grittier – there’s more of a razor-sharp, eviscerating impact to them. This is especially evident on out-and-out barnstormers like “A Future Like A Guillotine” (off Power Hazard) or the band’s brain-shattering remake of Appendix’s “Kuitenkin Kuolemme.” Even the Japanese-influenced title track of “Anathema Device” has an added snarl in the guitar licks and vocals.
A sidenote about the man behind the remastering: Severed Head of State frontman Jack Control launched his Mind Control Records from Dallas in the early 1990s and also led the anarcho-tinged, political hardcore band Scorched Earth Policy (“Tactics of the Lie”) at that time, later reappearing at the head of the crushingly apocalyptic Austin hardcore outfit World Burns to Death in 2001, a band covered on this website several times before (Control has since moved on to Texas-Florida hybrid hardcore band Butcher and, via Enormous Door in Austin, has been producing or mastering other works by bands like Poison Idea, Darkthrone, Iron Age, Stick Men with Ray Guns, Final Conflict, Forward, Framtid, External Menace, Reagan Youth, and tons, tons more).
As fans already know, Severed Head of State got its name from a line in the Rudimentary Peni song “Slimy Member,” and members have served time in punk bands as diverse as Tragedy (Todd Burdette), J Church (Chris Pfeffer), and Pierced Arrows (Kelly Hallburton). That’s just the start of the list of the many underground punk acts that the musicians have played in.
We’ll keep you updated on future SHoS remaster or reissue news here.
THE 42 REMASTERED SEVERED HEAD OF STATE TRACKS CAN ONLY BE LISTENED TO HERE!
The official Severed Head of State website is here: http://www.severedheadofstate.com/
Enormous Door’s website is here: http://www.enormousdoor.com/