The last couple months I have been digging up buried treasure after buried treasure, most of which that were recorded before I was born. The most recent in my installement of musical history month is from the Detroit protopunk band, Death. Not to be confused with the equally awesome metal band Death, the subject of this post’s attention was formed in 1971 by three brothers and has a discography that spans all of half an album.
They are frequently hailed as being punk before punk was even something you could be, in both attitude and music. They only managed to recorded 7 of the planned 12 songs on their debut LP because they were uncompromising in their name choice, causing their backer to pull out. They also have an edge on The Ramones first release by about a year, putting them among a small group of bands that laid the groundwork for what we now call punk rock.
Using classic and garage rock as their core, Death cranked everything out with a fervor all their own and simply played what they wanted, how they wanted to play it. The result is 7 songs that seem eerily familiar at first but played too loose and fast to really nail them down anywhere. The closer, “Politicians in My Eyes” is the standout, with both the lyrical content and musically raggedness that strongly hint at what Death could have become had their career not been cut short.