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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play Loud and Feel Good, 7 April 2010
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men (Audio CD)
An American 1970s renaissance incorporates Devo, Pere Ubu, Chrome, Residents, Tuxedomoon, hitching their collective wagons to journey unknown. Sound pioneers of 1960's experimentation ripened with these sleek rockets blasting into view in the 70's.

American equivalent of the German year zero experimenting with means of expression following belief collapse after new dreams faded. In Germany Neu, Cluster, Kraufterk, Faust, Amon Duul and Tangerine Dream built new soni templates, a reaction to kitsch schalgermuzik.

Eno was the missing link, building the bridge between Germany and America. Bowie and Iggy cemented the connection. The punk explosion created the chasm allowing new forms of non linear music to emerge from the silos to garner an audience.

Devo/Eno take the clumsy industrial machine based jerk rhythm. The opposite to sexual sleek, these tempos mimic factory production, the life of the populace and their waking days. Decrying the banal, sanatised monotony of advertised and packaged dream achievement, was a hysterical lecturn rant. "Are we not men"? the CEO in the pulpit demanding company loyalty cries. The new Scopes Law of the 70's.

Uncontrolable Urge, now self explanatory in a less regulated era, a precursor to Whip it off. No Satisfaction srips the original, in a pre Laibach era, lays it bare and then carefully reassembles. Devo wrote the template for all true cover versions as opposed to gushing tributes. Covers are from artists, tributes from sycophants. Honky tonk replaced with Germanic/Devo ice and jerk. Alienation embeded in onanism and consumerism. Two acts undertaken without company. Desire warps into buying needs, the America dystopia. Music and lyrics in perfect roboto unison warp worlds and realities. Devo streaming in a parallel universe to Phillip K Dick. Mongoloid, spotting the difference between the despised and the real human, Devo's non PC take on the company functionary, anyone can do it. Come back Jonee the furthest Devo allowed sentiment into the factory. 50's rock and roll placed on the conyeyor belt with the twist of the unhappy ending. Praying Hands, supplication in request for more consumer goods, obsessional compulsive and destructive.

Devo's philosophical breakthrough transpired through declaming evolution is not progressive. Societies de-evolve. Progress is not linear. Met with gasps and guffaws during its proclomation in the the late 70's. The unfurling carpet of progress and the beaming down on primitives is now reaching towards a cul de sac. The wistful days of the Tiki rumpus room where life was not strangled with a shirt and tie.

Currently the ad man can no longer spin the pile quick enough. Chuck out your chintz, consume buy anything to keep economies afloat. In the 21st C age of information, the chaff and the corn still remain uncollected, stored in the warehouses of dreams.

Devo will not let you down if you let them out.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding debut album, 25 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men (Audio CD)
As the title suggests, 'Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!" was an off-beat and energetic debut from four men from Akron, Ohio blended with the production of an on-form Brian Eno.
While demanding on first play, this album is hugely rewarding and immense fun. The opening track, 'Uncontrollable Urge', sets a fast tempo, with tight drums, a contagious riff and delightfully incoherent vocals. "Uncontrollable urge, wanna tell you all about it," sings Mothersbaugh, his voice sounding nasal, synthetic and fresh, and that's about as far as the lyrics get. Punchy call and response vocals during the chorus, between lead and backing vocals and synth supporting the rhythm give the track a hugely disctinctive feel and also set the tone for the remainder of the album.
Immediately following 'Uncontrollable Urge' is Devo's cover of 'I Can't Get No) Satisfaction', which brings an ironic minimalism to the well known Rolling Stones track. Edgy guitars and a feeling of compression make this track almost unrecognisable from the original, freakish and relentless by comparison.
This cover clearly shows the disaffectation and social comment that characterises the album, both in the lyrics and in the angular, discordant music and unusual time signatures. This strike against conformity is seen in the vocals to 'Praying Hands', with the lyric "wash your hands three times a day, always do what your mother can say" in the swipe at fast food culture in the two minute blast of 'Too Much Paranoias', and the bizarre vocals for 'Mongoloid'.
With a powerful bass line and a wavering synth lead, 'Mongoloid' is a jittery song, fusing punk and new wave, and is as fun as it is incomprehensible. "Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid, and he coveted all he could see," sings Motherbaugh, "and he wore a hat, and he had a job, and he brought home the bacon so that no-one knew", later adding that nobody even cared.
With 'Satisfaction', and with many of the other tracks on the album there is a feeling that this is the music that the band heard on the radio as kids, put through the Devo mangler. 'Gut Feeling', which begins in conventional form, becoming less so as the song progresses, turning into an anxious and angry track. Later, 'Come Back Jonee' sits as Devo's unusual take on old style rock and roll.
The outstanding tarck on the album, though, is 'Jocko Homo', a track that is esoteric on first encounter but hugely rewarding on repeat listening. A humourous take on the idea that mankind is devolving rather than evolving, containing lyrics like "god made man, but a monkey supplied the glue". This is a stomping track, with call "Are we not men?" and response "We are Devo!" lyrics that are made to shout along with, and with a brief bridge melody that would not be out of place accompanying a nursery rhyme, this is a track which must stand as one of the most compelling and unusual athems ever written.
This album is undoubtedly more influential than popular, sidelined as geek rock, which is a pity. Tense, witty, intelligent, subversive, and still fresh almost twenty five years after release, this record kicked off new wave with bang. Go and buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfy your uncontrollable urge, 10 Aug. 2012
By 
Tim "Tim" (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo (Audio CD)
It all started here - DEVO's debut and undoutedly their most critically acclaimed album. It's the only studio LP in their back-catalogue that could be described as 'rock', as the synth sounds are mostly ornamental and don't drive the songs. 34 years on, most of these songs still dominate DEVO's live set, from the statement of intent Jock Homo (the "are we not men? We are DEVO" song), the bizarre robotic cover of the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction and the tense Gut Feeling. It's hard to comprehend how unique and innovative this LP would have sounded back in 1978, as it's proved to be very influential on future post-punk, new wave and alternative rock movements. Classic and essential.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird, wonderful, totally insane and very infectious?, 12 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men (Audio CD)
Being a bit of a maverick I finally decided to give this 5 stars due to the utter lunacy. Often (and unfairly) derided by the critics I maintain that Devo were in fact simply misunderstood. In my opinion they were just too far ahead of the time and arguably still are. I have never quite understood the 'industrial music' tag often used either! That said 'Are we not men?' (the album) was initially purchased after seeing the video for 'Jocko-Homo' on the tele around the time of release simply due to the fact that I had never heard or seen anything like it/them before and probably never will again. Took a few listens to prevent it ending up in the bin but eventually became hooked and literally played it to death. Eno's influence as producer (Here Come the Warm Jets/Taking Tiger Mountain era in particular) is obvious. Thanks to the CD it is now possible to listen to approx 35 mins of madness in one sitting but I have yet to decide if this is a good or bad thing! The songs get into your head and tend to stay there, especially what must be one of the oddest covers of all time - 'Satisfaction' (Rolling Stones). The only tip I can give is to play it loud and with an open mind, it is definitely a grower. Go on buy it I dare you!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not very sane, but brilliant., 4 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men (Audio CD)
OK, the first thing to say about this album is that it's not very easy to listen to. You need a couple of listens to really get into it, and when you do, you'll know why it's such a classic. The thing sounds like it was made by a bunch of crazy people. It's the complete opposite of everything that you think it's normal. But when you finally see through the image, the songs are brilliant! The are a number of great guitar riffs, and the song structures are also very interesting. "Jocko Homo" is probably the best thing here, "Satisfaction" (yes, the Jagger/Richards one) sounds very ironic and "Space Junk" has Brian Eno written all over it. If you don't have this one in your collection, it just isn't complete.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So Goooood, 28 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men (Audio CD)
I had this on vinyl when it was first released and someone knicked it at a party (shows how popular it was). What an album!. Maybe I love it because of the time and place .... and I'm sure my kids will think it's weird. But Devo are so worth a listen. Fun and different
My favourite is probably the cover version of 'satisfaction' - which I happen to prefer to the Stones (even though I am a huge Rolling Stones fan too).
Give it go, if you don't like it you can always flog it again on Amazon :)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This album is insane, 12 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men (Audio CD)
Being a bit of an Eno fanatic, I thought I'd give this album a try. Like the reviewer below, I agree that it does sound better after the first few plays. It's quirky, disjointed, insane and robotic and it does sound like Kraftwerk fused with "Warm Jets"-era Eno. "Uncontrollable Urge" is great, "Jocko Homo" and "Mongoloid" are even better. Well worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo (Audio CD)
Very happy with this

A lot of tracks and although it was more expensive than my other purchases It was worth it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 21 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo (Audio CD)
Classic! DEVO worth getting
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 May 2015
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This review is from: Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo (Audio CD)
No problems what so ever
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Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo
Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo by Devo (Audio CD - 2009)
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