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Death N.E.W.Drag City Records
Article written by
Ged M - Apr 24, 2015
“This feels like a resurrection!” howl Death on their new album, N.E.W. Yet the track ‘Resurrection’ feels more like a Flight of the Conchords heavy rock pastiche. The band were (re)discovered in 2008, thanks to the re-release of For The Whole World To See on Drag City. The reaction to an unknown but brutally powerful garage punk band from Detroit stimulated a release of whatever material had been written or recorded by leader David Hackney before his death in 2000 but they exhausted that source with the last album III. Yet the band continues, with the other brothers Bobbie and Dannis Hackney, joined by Bobbie Duncan. They’re returned with an album of new songs and ones they’ve finished from 70s sketches by Bobbie and David. And while you don’t want to begrudge them a living after their wilderness decades, you can’t help feeling that they should have cashed in their chips after the archival releases.
There are some good songs; ‘Relief’ is an Alice Cooper/ early 70s Detroit rocker let down by clichés: “it’s time to rock’n’roll for real”. ‘Playtime’ sounds like the Dirtbombs playing bubblegum rock while ‘Who Am I’ is garage rock introspection. But more often they’re a heavy rock bar band, aping Thin Lizzy, whose hippyish lyrics sound pretentious. There’s not much inspiration and some tracks just keep going out of seeming desperation. It’s no fun to slag off a band with a great reputation (I so wanted this to be great) but there’s nothing here that wasn’t done a million times better by the original band. The lesson is: Death, be not proud…