# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Death - N.E.W.

  by Mark Rowland

published: 8 / 6 / 2015

Death - N.E.W.
Label: Drag City
Format: CD


Rediscovered proto-punk band Death release their first album of new material in nearly forty years

It’s been seven years since Death’s long lost debut album, ‘For the Whole World To See…’ was re-issued to great acclaim. As an all-black rock band with such a morbid name, Death received minimal interest from record labels and from audiences in their native Detroit, which was very much divided along racial lines. Formed by the Hackney brothers (Bobby, David and Dannis) in 1971, their music was powerful, ahead of its time, punk before punk was punk. A cult audience for the band’s only single release built online, and, upon discovering that their father and uncles were in such a rocking band, bassist/singer Bobby’s sons formed a Death tribute band to spread the word further. Death reformed not long after that, with new guitarist Bobbie Duncan (David sadly died before the band was rediscovered). After a touring the old songs for a while, the band started writing new material, sowing the seeds for ‘N.E.W.’ Broadly, the music could be classed as garage punk, but that doesn’t really do it justice. This record mixes bits of punk, metal, soul, funk, psychedelic rock, reggae and good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll in a way that isn’t a pastiche of the old. It’s all been mixed subconsciously, because it’s what the band members love. It doesn’t always work – there are moments that feel slightly dated in a hippyish sort of way – but for the most part, it feels like a very forward-looking piece of work. ‘Relief’, previously released as a single, is garage rock with a Sabbath-ish edge, a love letter to Detroit rock. It’s one of the more straightforward songs. ‘Look at Your Life’ fits a hell of a lot into its four minutes, a pop song with stop-start rhythms, thrashing drums, a complete left-turn in the middle, and two guitar solos. ‘Who Am I’ sounds like a more organic TV On The Radio, with a simple, driving beat, distorted funk chords, and a soulful vocal performance from Bobby Hackney. ‘You Are What You Think’ emulates math rock with its complex and frequently changing time signatures. It’s a fierce and energetic comeback for a band whose heyday came 40 years to late. It’s heartening to hear that Death has a life that stretches beyond its past glories.

Track Listing:-
1 Relief
2 Look At Your Life
3 Story Of The World
4 The Times
5 Playtime
6 At The Station
7 Who Am I?
8 You Are What You Think
9 Resurrection
10 Change

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