6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Richard was the midwife of punk rock, who birthed it but never fully entered the tent as the creator of the universe because Malcolm pushed him out of the way. He was one template Malcolm gazed onto with awe when managing the Dolls. Eventually Hell was waylaid, his talent shrivelled up as narcotics became his focus. Richard only produced two Voidoid albums. The first marked a new era, the second was trying to catch up.
The sound is a 60's punk template taken to somewhere else by Robert Quine's guitar strokes creating a jerked intricacy of avantic sound patterns. Anti melodic rhythm unleashing two pit bulls snatching at each others throats, the guitar lines snarl through the album, his signature tune, chiming in a new rhythmic fury. Quine had a previous stint with the last gasps of VU and a flirt with the bored dome of studying law. Now sadly no more.
Hell's voice is a NY caustic matured whine floating on a coat of ennui. Blank generations abounded, articulating the artistic, moral, militaristic and emotional bankrupcy of a country in the throes of post Vietnam regret. In New York money poured out, whilst art flourished.
The Ramones, Suicide, Blondie, Hearbreakers, Television and the Cramps are all deified in the rock hall of fame whilst Richard is left sloping on the outside, awaiting his time in purgatory as part of the famous pantheon. Hell refused to reinvent himself for 77 but should be lauded for ushering in the new era.
This album marks the watershed of punk, the stronger tracks are concise, beaten into shape and engage the expressive nihilism of nothingness. Love comes in spurts Hell ejaculates, an antidote to "all you need is love." Love gets other forms of battering throughout the recording as Betrayal takes Two.
Personal anger, pain, made it work. Light years away from the chumpz of disco where everyone was in lurrrrrvvveee baby. Hell was in anguish.
Not as visceral as the Pistols, nor as bubblegum shattering as the Ramones, as sound inventive as Suicide or as delicious poptastic as Blondie. It was the opening statement, the first day, the genesis of the musical revolution.
Whilst Richard gave the world the look, the ripped up t shirt, the short cropped hair and the snarl, he could have delivered far more. Trapped in his narcotic world, the planet turned on its axis, without thanking him for giving birth and Robert for providing a new sonic template.
This however for retrospective rockers looking for gold still glitters as the present 21t Century tip has smothered all the gems.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2001
Richard Hell, the influential punk/poet self styled Rimbaud figure of New York punk. It follows that his music with the Voidoids should also be suitably nihilistic. It is. Love Comes In Spurts is Hell's love song, with an unmissable double entendre. His voice is shaky, unsure, like an American Vic Goddard. His lyrics however, are sharp, clever and reveal his intensly intelligent mind which is hidden behind the dumb punk exterior. The sublime Blank Generation, one of the classic punk singles of all time, influenced the Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant. The connection is obvious. But the differences are vast. The Pistols... lyrics offer no passion, no ideals and no sense of a future other than a superficial one. Hell offers us the blank to fill in as we choose. Instead of I Belong To The Blank Generation, Hell intended there to be a space where 'Blank' should be. You work out the rest. Hell remains a romantic, albeit a doomed one, throughout and his follow up album Destiny Street is just as good if not better. Guitar supplied by 'virtuoso' and one time Lou Reed guitarist Bob Quinn. An excellent album, punk noise but ethics from somewhere else altogether.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2005
A must have. Hell had already performed versions of some of the key tracks - including Love Comes in Spurts and Blank Generation - during his spells with Television and the Heartbreakers. But the versions on this legendary album finally allowed the songs to stand out as some of the great recordings of the punk period. Hell's lyrics - among the sharpest of the era - find their ideal foil with Ivan Julian and Robert Quine's uncanny guitar interplay. While Hell's wordplay and decent bass playing fitted made him an ideal frontman, Quine is in many ways the star of the show. His remarkable solos heralded the arrival of a major talent, whose work - despite spells with Lou Reed, Lloyd Cole and Matthew Sweet - never really got the recognition that one of the all time great guitarists deserved.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2002
My sister used to work for a record PR company in the late 70's and came home with an armfull of Richard Hell. This record stuck itself to my turntable.
Love Comes in Spurts and Blank Generation, especially stuck in the groove as my stylus wore it down. Lovely tunes, fantastic energy, not discordent at all.
Keep hearing The Hives on TV trailers of late. Nice tunes and energy, reminds me of this great underheard album. Some great tracks. Love comes in Spurts.. Oh no it hurts.
Lick it and See.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This album appeared the same year as the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and is in the same league. But the sound here is more varied and the lyrics more poetic, like on the harrowing slow song Betrayal Takes Two with its intricate guitar work. My favorites include the subversive tour de force Love Comes In Spurts, the anthemic title track and the melodic song The Plan, while others are interesting. Different avenues of rock are explored - it’s more than just angry 3-minute anthems. Unfortunately the album isn’t consistently good, it has its weaker moments. Five stars for historical importance, three stars for the music.