Suicide - Suicide The Second Album
New York in the Seventies was far from the Disneyland for consumers that it is today. It was bankrupt, corrupt, dangerous, and home to some of the most important musical movements of the last thirty years of the20th Century, punk and rap. While the stage was set to turn the seedy into art long before Suicide came along—the Velvets and Dolls got things starting a few years prior—it was the defiant synth duo of Martin Rev and Alan Vega that were the first visionaries of the DIY spirit. We owe them too much.
This two disc set packages their rare second record, along with a side of somewhat muddy rehearsal tapes. Their second record was produced by Ric Ocasek, which certainly drew some groans from the hip when it was released. While not as raw as their seminal debut, really the only difference is that the sound is cleaned up. We’re not talking a shift to power pop here. “super subway Comedian,” “Harlem,” and “ Radiation” bristle with the gutter vibe that made Suicide one of the most confrontational bands ever; they confronted not only their audience—with fists and chains as well as keyboards—but they also unblinkingly confronted the side of life too few have dared to peek at with any degree of sincerity. On this record they also began to take a greasy look at fame; “Diamonds, Fur coat, Champagne,” “Fast Money Music” and “Las Vegas Man” do not paint a lifestyle many would want, despite the glitter. Though this second record is not as assaultive as their debut, very few records ever have been.
The disc of rehearsals is for fans only. You can more than appreciate even in embryo, the greatness of tracks like “Speedqueen” and “Creature Feature,” but the sound quality often works against a decent hearing. Then again, sometimes it adds to the menace. Your call. As always, the menacing pulse of the music contrast with Vega’s howling rants to produce moments of pure horror. Art is supposed to make you uncomfortable, challenge you, gives you new ways of seeing. At their best, Suicide did just that, however often we chose not to listen to them. Yet you can still hear them, in everything from Coil to Nurse With Wound, from Controlled Bleeding to Merzbow.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.