Saturday, December 28, 2013

Death A Band Called Death 2012 (DVD) Death ...For The Whole World To See 2009

This is a fascinating documentary of a hard rock band made up of three black brothers from Detroit that made some glorious protopunk music in 1975.

Even reading it, it doesn't sound right.

The documentary traces the bands early development (and particularly rare and permissive parenting) that allowed these brothers to develop a raw, loud, angry rock and roll sound that predates punk in it's angry vocals and hyper-speed drumming.

The DVD is a blast, and follows the story of the resurrection of this anomalous band in 2008 after an early self-released demo single became a sought-after rarity and found its way into the hands of DJs at clubs in the mid 2000s.

In 2009, Drag City Records released their "debut" album, ...For The Whole World To See, seven songs recorded in 1975 at United Sound in Detroit that includes the two tracks from the remarkable single that caused their rediscovery and reunion.

There is certainly reason to say they were punk before punk, but the playing has none of the early punk DIY ethos. The Townsend/Hendrix influenced David Hackney is no two-chord punk guitarist. He's hot and inspired, and the arrangements are tight. There are moments of prog-like complexity, some psychedelia, and plenty of hard-driving rock and roll.

The songs are odd, occasionally lyrically strange, and Bobby Hackney's vocals surely contribute to the punk comparisons. They sound like The Who crossed with Black Sabbath on speed. What's not to like?

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