Something unlike anything you’ve heard before,Severance is the 9th release from multi-instrumentalist, compulsive creator, and unrepentant volume addict Timo Ellis (Cibo Matto, Spacehog, Yoko Ono) under the Netherlands moniker. Officially out on the 31st of March 2023 via Svart Records, Severance features all the hallmarks of Ellis’ work, including blistering post-shred guitar heroics, primal drumming, and soulful, yet searing caterwauls. But as with every Netherlands release, Ellis has inexplicably found a way to ratchet up the intensity, render the dynamic shifts more extreme, and hone his menacing melange of melody and rhythm into a uniquely weaponised form of rock ‘n’ roll that reaches towards high art.
We asked Timo to talk about 3 releases that have influenced him during his musical career…
Melvins – Ozma
I saw Melvins for the first time in early 1989 in Olympia Washington, at a show where Nirvana opened up for them. I’d only heard this record for the first time a few days before this gig, and was floored by their gloomy intensity / utterly massive sound, especially the clobberingly incredible drumming of the great Dale Crover- Up until that point I’d only heard the Chicago metal band Trouble do something that would (now) be considered “doom”, but IMO Melvins had the genetics of punk (relatively) and not traditional metal in their whole vibe. In other words to me it just felt weirder / more adventurous (and a little more confrontational) than almost all other heavy music I’d heard up until that point. This record is back to back amazing and really creates a distinctive mood and is IMO a classic.
Nomeansno – Wrong
For me, this band at this point in time, with these songs, are THE standard bearers of a live punk rock show, or of almost any hard rock band. I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen a trio execute music as sharply and as loosely as these guys did, at that time. Everything about this record to me is flawless; fantastic songs and arrangements, played with absolutely brutal, swaggering energy, and with great lyrics / extremely dark humor running throughout. Seeing them on this tour remains one of the best shows, of any kind, I’ve ever seen.
Pixeltan – Beats Prepared for Torture
This amazing NYC trio only had a brief run in the early 2000’s but made a huge impression on me, when I heard them and then saw them a few times back then. I would describe them as “minimalist groove-sludge with a guttural delay-rock singer”. Basically it’s like psychotic electro-punk dance music, totally brutal and hypnotic. All the members of this band have gone on to do equally as interesting / provocative work in later bands but this record still remains one of my all time favorites for its simplicity, raw power and intensity.