New Musical Express : 16 June 1983

Leichenschrei (Side Effekts)

THE CORPSE screams again! Dead but dreadfully reluctant to let go, Western-style industrial states approximate signs of life as best they can. The entertainment wings that are their last lively twitching limbs are well versed in dissimulation. Cosmeticians turned morticians do a fair job of prettying up the corpse - enough to keep drawing the consumers back anyway. But every so often they are given a serious jolt by maggots breaking through the skin.

The Sino-Australian-NZ terrorist group SPK is such a multi-mouthed maggot. Part pre-aesthetic trash monger, part post-industrial preacher, SPK feed off the industrial corpse only to puke everything back up over you.
'Leichenschrei'/'The Corpse Screams' is a grim, gaudy document that splatters all over the pavement its most sustained feast to date.

Fragments of medical discourse are folded into taped conversations with paranoid schizophrenics ("The manager of the corporation tried to give me syphillis by wiping his cock on my sandwich"). In case the words themselves are not enough to keep you horribly absorbed, they've been grafted onto gargantuan machine noises sculpted into lurching neo-primitive rhythms and broken up by metal percussion exorcisms.

It is a bizarrely ugly beast to be sure, made up of human flesh and metal, but it moves in all senses of the word. Best of all it wants to move among people and therefore refuses its freaks status. Behaving like latterday shamans, SPK presents itself as the symptom of the disease and also its possible cure.

Recorded and first released in America 18 months ago, 'Leichenschrei' is nevertheless quite lumpy compared to SepPuKu's more recent 'Dekompositiones' 12in, which comes closer to the meeting of savage and civilised minds that is SPK's intent. Best investigate the pair in tandem.

Chris Bohn 

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