LP - Suicide - Suicide
Proof that punk was more about attitude than a raw guitar-driven sound Suicide's self-titled debut set the duo apart from the rest of the styles self-proclaimed outsiders. Over the course of seven songs Martin Revs dense unnerving electronics -- including a menacing synth bass a drum machine that sounds like an idling motorcycle and harshly hypnotic organs -- and Alan Vegas ghostly Gene Vincent-esque vocals defined the groups sound and provided the blueprints for post-punk synth pop and industrial rock in the process. Though those seven songs shared the same stripped-down sonic template they also show Suicides surprisingly wide range. The exhilarated rebellious Ghost Rider and Rocket U.S.A. capture the punk eras thrilling nihilism -- albeit in an icier way than most groups expressed it -- while Cheree and Girl counter the rest of the albums hard edges with a sensuality thats at once eerie and alluring. And with its retro bassline and simplistic stylized lyrics Johnny explores Suicides affinity for 50s melodies and images as well as their pop leanings. But none of this is adequate preparation for Frankie Teardrop one of the duos definitive moments and one of the most harrowing songs ever recorded. A ten-minute descent into the soul-crushing existence of a young factory worker Revs tense repetitive rhythms and Vegas deadpan delivery and horrifying almost inhuman screams make the song more literally and poetically political than the work of bands who wore their radical philosophies on their sleeves.