Monday, October 7, 2013

DEVO - HARDCORE VOLUME 1+2

DEVO - HARDCORE VOLUME 1 LP (Superior Viaduct)
Devo's two "Hardcore" volumes originally came out in 1990 and 1991 as a CD. They've been out of print over twenty years and now thanks to Superior Veriduct they finally get a CD and LP reissue. The four-track recordings were made in Akron, Ohio at Devo's basement space from 1974-1977. Devo were true pioneers of punk and electronic music. They were far ahead of their time with their unique brand of synth-punk. Compared with their later releases the fiveteen tracks sound more basic and stripped down. Devo took the electro-pop of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" album and merged it with their very own kind of paranoid primitivity. The recordings vary between futuristic, robotic synth-sounds, pre-punk tunes and funky jams, but they all capture Devo's typcial twisted pop vibe. Back then Devo wrote probably the most demented and most stupid lyrics ever. Most of them seem to be a product of teenage frustrations Exactly this weirdness is one of the main secrets about Devo. Only “Mongoloid” and “Jocko Homo” made it on their "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo" debut album, but "hardcore volume 1" is filled with brilliant songs, that already suggest Devo's prime importance to the music of the lates 70s and early 80s. I hate the original version of "(I can't get no) satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, but Devo's cover rules, just like this whole record fuckin' rules (Listen to it here)

DEVO - HARDCORE VOLUME 2 2xLP (Superior Viaduct)
The second volume of Devo's "hardcore" recordings covers twentyfour more tracks pressed on two full LPs. It's as essential as the first volume and everything what's written above is also more than true here. Lyrically the second volume is even more weird. The themes are abrasive, sexual and totally retared. They seem to be first of all a product of sexual frustration and anger. Musically "Hardcore Volume 2" again offers a large varitey of different influence. Devo's tunes are based on electronic drum beats and robotic synth sounds, but at the same time they throw in influences ranging from disco music to garage, easy-listening, funk and pop. These recordings illustrate, that Devo were true innovaters of synth-punk and wave. The cover version of Allen Toussaint’s “Working in a Coal Mine” is one of the stand-out tracks here. A true classic! (Listen to it here)