The wonderfully-named Cheer-Accident (apparently named for a category of greeting cards) are a long-standing institution on the Chicago scene, although I was unaware of their existence before hearing this album. Sever Roots, Tree Dies was their first release, and while the overused term 'avant-garde' is relevant, what I hear is a combination of '70s RIO (Henry Cow et al.), '80s King Crimson and some weirder shit, although I believe the band have grown away from their influences on subsequent albums. Although I've only given this album 3½ stars, I suspect it may get an upgrading in the future, as its hidden depths release their murky secrets; there's an awful lot going on here - far more than the average brain (especially mine) can assimilate in a single sitting.
Of the band's three members at the time, two (multi-instrumentalists Thymme Jones and Chris Block) play Mellotron, apparently borrowed from one Ted Dominick, whose sleeve credit reads "who else would have a Mellotron?" It isn't actually used until track four, the lengthy Avoid The Invisible, with what sounds like a cello line under one of the more 'normal' parts of the song, before a fantastic discordant strings part takes over. There are more cellos on Severed (the lyrics of which give the album its name), but that appears to be it.
Tracklist: 1.Fight for Innocence 2.Death & Taxes 3.Uncle Dale 4.Avoid the Invisible 5.Severed 6.Heaven 7.Black & White 8.Cutting Off My Arm So I Don't Have to Shake Hands 9.Tree Dies