Aug. 1 2020

During my mid-teens I was turned on to 70’s punk rock by a teacher at my high school and had a musical epiphany that was akin to a religious experience. I remember the day clearly: slipping the cassette tape he had made for me into a little ghetto blaster in my brother’s room (I think mine was broken) and hearing X-Ray Spex, Dead Boys, the Adverts and the Avengers. As I listened to the music, a primal force rose up from inside of me, tore through all of my insecurities and self pity and left me feeling strong, free and with an unshakable will.

I had struggled with social dynamics at school and often been bullied. In the months following, I saved up $1000 of babysitting money (which seemed like a huge sum of money to me at the time), dropped out of high school, and left my home town.

Over the years I’ve explored a lot of different subcultures: dark ambient, electro industrial, black metal, old school goth and more. But 70’s punk is my one true love, whose embrace I return to time and time again.

Many years later, I was in Audiophile on Commercial Drive in Vancouver and saw a unique looking album resting on the display shelves above the record bins. The words ‘DEATH’ in perspective lettering were shooting out from the top of a cityscape in retro reds, oranges and yellows on stark black. I asked the guy working there if he’d heard it and he told me the story of how an old recording was discovered in the attic of one of the members and this pre-punk gem was released 35 years after the fact. I was like, woa I gotta check this out.

I brought the record home and unsealed it from it’s shiny wrapping; something I didn’t do very often as I usually bought used records. I ran my hands along it’s glossy cover and carefully took out the pristine slice of vinyl. As the first track 'Keep on Knocking' started pulsing through my speaker I was like this is fucking amazing. Then ‘Rock and Roll Victim’ started to play and I was like holy shit what is this?? I felt that same electric jolt I did on the day I hovered over the little boom box in the mid-90’s. I listened to the entirety of the album and then listened to the entire album again immediately following. It cut through my bones, into my soul, and set it on fire!

It turns out that one of the first ‘punk’ bands ever comprised of three “black blood brothers playing rock and roll” from Detroit who never had their record released, as they refused their record companies requests to change their name from ‘Death’ to something more radio friendly. Heck ya!

Death's music is in a bit of a category of it's own - similar to artists like the Skids, Stiff Little Fingers or Wayne County, who got lumped into the 70’s punk genre and embodied the spirit, yet stand out as totally unique musical entities.

I had a chance to see the reformed Death play live; and even though the main founder, David Hackney, had passed away, I felt the same spirit of the album during the show and went berserk dancing along to the tracks that I grew to love so dearly through prolific overplaying. I managed to pick up the last of the 70’s style t-shirts they had, which was XXL, though I eventually altered it to fit me. I found it today when I was going through a random box.

I still get goosebumps when I hear the album!

Happy Emancipation Day!

DEATH Homepage

WARNING: this music is best listened to on vinyl at maximum volume





If your dream is shattered
Pick up the glass
Don't let your head keep running
Whatever is behind you
Leave it past
Can't you see what's coming

Let the world turn
Let the world turn around
Let the world turn
Let the world turn around
On a wild trip
On a wild trip around
Let the world turn
Let the world turn around
On a wild trip
On a wild trip around

Will you be glad when they let you off
Oh but you don't know really where you've been
Make believing what they think is real
Just tell me what exactly have they seen

Can't hold on to their established mold
Because the greed will stop their ways
Could have been just like them years ago
But then I wouldn't be livin' life this day

If breakthroughs keep occurring
Let them in
You know that time is all we're made of
The world will keep on spinning
Let it spin
You know that time will all be made up
Sent the world on it' wild wild trip
It's to far gone to even stop it now
Got your life you better live it now
Before someone will have to show you how
Will you be glad when they let you off
Oh but you won't know really where you've been
Make believe in what they think is real
Just tell me what exactly have they seen

Let the world turn
Let the world turn around
Let the world turn
Let the world turn around
On a wild trip
On a wild trip around
Let the world turn
Let the world turn around
On a wild trip
On a wild trip around


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