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Hell is other People,
This review is from: Blank Generation (Audio CD)
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.