4/28 KUMD Album Review: Death
III, the third installment of the Death legacy, gives you a taste of Death like you've never heard before, and mixes in a few of the tracks recorded after they changed into a different outfit. This album shows a softer, more soulful side, while still giving a bit of the familiar edge found in the rest of their music. By Basement DJ: Matthew Knudson
The band Death has a very interesting back story. It starts with three black brothers growing up in Detroit in the early 70s who wanted to make music. At the time, it was all about Motown and you were a sucker to try anything else. But the Hackney brothers wanted to do something different, something loud. They saw what bands like The Who were doing and they wanted to have that energy. So they invented a sound that can only be described as pure, raw, punk. What they had was beautiful, but after many short comings, listener rejection, and an overall disagreement amongst band members, the music was lost and forgotten. 35 years later, their early 45s showed up in a record store one day. From then on, the music was passed on through many record collectors, music heads, and music magazine writers. This has led the living members of the band to put out albums of the music they made years ago, doing nationwide tours, and living the dream that they set out to accomplish many decades ago.
Death's new album, III, has the dirtiness that can only come from the recordings that three brothers made in a bedroom, but this time introducing a softer tone. It still has most of the band's edge, but now there's a more melodic, soulful vibe to it.
The band has always had spirituality to their lifestyle, as they grew up with a pastor for a father. Their faith comes out in songs such as "We're Gonna Make It" and "Yes He's Coming", written by front man David Hackney to show the spiritual, mental, and physical soul of the three brothers.
Featured in the documentary about the band entitled A Band Called Death, "We're Gonna Make It" was recorded by the Hackney brothers' later project "Rough Francis", when they found out their brother David, the front man of Death, was dying of cancer. The sound embodies hope for the band and the family that perfectly embodies the tough time they were going through. Tracks like "North Street" and "Restlessness" bring us the familiar punk rock setting that the band is known for. In contrast, "We Are Only People" gives us a side we've never heard before. It has a soft, soothing melody for the first four and a half minutes, then turning a sound that is comparatively modern indie rock.
"Open Road" has a kind of Jimi Hendrix feel to it. It introduces a waltz rhythm with a new melodic structure that hasn't been discovered in the music of Death before.
III is an excellent continuation of the band, revealing to the world the music that was ahead of its time.
RIYL - Atheist, Cynic, Jimi Hendrix, The Stooges, Slayer, Motorhead
Rec Tracks: "North Street", "We Are Only People", "We're Gonna Make
It", "Open Road", "Yes He's Coming"