deathDeath is possibly the first punk band that never was, they were also they first African-American punk/rock band around and brothers on top of that this gives you a few reasons to raise your eyebrow (not to mention the songs are fucking awesome). As a band the teenage Hackney brothers started playing R&B in their parents’ garage about 1971 but switched to hard rock in 1973, after seeing an Alice Cooper show, which is not only a true, but a fucking awesome story. The band had a self-released single in 1976 and that was about as much fame as they had while they were around. They were close to landing a deal a few times but shot it down with an against the grain attitude, a tape was brought to a New York record executive; the executive liked the songs but not the name. The suit told the band that they would have to change their name or there would be no deal, the band responded with a ‘Hell no!’ A 1974 demo tape was found in Bobby Sr.’s attic, this was released recently by Drag City Records as “… For the Whole World to See”, which is what we have here. Seven songs that were recorded over thirty five years ago, the sound is kind of a combination of the Buzzcocks, Ramones, Bad Brains, and Jimi Hendrix…before any of these bands were around (with the obvious exception of Hendrix. I was lucky enough to hear a the first track off of this record “Keep on Knocking” which immediately sold me, this may also be my favorite song, however closing out the album is “Politicians in My Eyes” in which lead singer Bobby Hackney lets out a great primal scream part way through the song, I love this song so much. This record is so good, I’m glad it’s in my collection; it should be in yours if you’re into that early punk sound because this is a prime example of what that was. Moving forward for the band they haven’t had much luck, in the early 80’s they released two albums of gospel rock as the 4th Movement. And more recently on a tragic note founder and leader, David Hackney, died of lung cancer in 2000. This is not only sad to find out because it’s a loss of a man who was a visionary with some great talent this also makes any kind of reunion impossible. Go out and get this record as a tribute to one of the best punk bands that never got a chance and you’ll be happy to find out that you’ve got some great tunes in hand.

1. Keep on Knocking
2. Rock-n-Roll Victim
3. Let the World Turn
4. You’re a Prisoner
5. Freakin’ Out
6. Where Do We Go From Here???
7. Politicians in My Eyes

Get it from Drag City Records HERE

Get For the Whole World to See from Amazon HERE