smalltime Sheffield combo Surface Mutants only managed one standalone EP, but nonetheless warrant special mention as one of the better obscure bands to record at Cabaret Voltaire’s legendary Western Works studio.it’s hard to resist confirming that ‘You Take Me Somewhere Strange (and you leave me there)’ does anything else than just that. the Cabs’ tinny, scratchy production gives the EP a quite pleasant, if decidedly dissonant, ambiance. the simple bass lines, frequent drum fills and taught guitars of ‘Train’ and ‘Help Below’ rely heavily on varying degrees of phaser, delay and reverb, with additional electronics hissing randomly in and out of the mix. the creepy title track, by contrast, abandons the undanceable funk for something that sounds nothing short of the early Cabs attempting to cover ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, complete with anguished, largely indecipherable, vocals. complete with ill-fitting goth cover art to (somewhat) mislead you, this record is certainly far from superficial.The year of release was 1982. "You Take Me Somewhere Strange" has always reminded me of "Bela Lugosi's Dead," so I'm glad to see someone else feels the same way about it. Band member Pete Mutant replied to the blog entry:
Blimey. Just for verification, Kent had left to join the Chant, Nort [later of Hula] was with us on Drums and noises, Jules had left, Christine Parker was on sax, Angie Birkett on keyboards (and very good too). Richard [Kirk] was responsible for many of the indecipherable vocals.
Another reader found that Angie Birkett (now Holmes) is now active in the band Siiiii. Get the Surface Mutants vinyl rip here or here.