Another of those bands/albums where I knew about it, knew I was “supposed” to have heard it, etc. But the truth, obviously, is I had not. I did know about Suicide. And Alan Vega. But mostly just from reading books that document the era, from seeing docos, from the history of music…
I knew a couple of the songs from here. One from a mixtape. One from an actual compilation.
But to hear this album – brand new to me in 2018 – is to enter into a world. As was the case some 25 years ago when I got hooked on The Vaselines and sometime before that with The Jesus + Mary Chain and…well, there are others. Hey, even some of the music Jonathan Richman makes (with trusty sidekick Tommy Larkins). That was certainly the case for me when I saw Richman in a small bar in the states a couple of years back.
I’m not trying to say that Suicide sounds like Richman, nor The Vaselines nor the Mary Chain (though there’s some connection there, I’m sure, between the Mary Chain and Suicide, and maybe to the Vaselines too, in a way). I’m just thinking about the “world” these sorts of artists make, and live in. The bubble. There are always references and soundalikes, there are antecedents, but there’s also a firm belief that these (sorts of) artists just arrive at the sound they want to make all on their own, all of their own. And there’s a heart that drives it, a pure feeling of connection, emotion.
I’m loving this album – and I always love “discovering” something 30 or 40 or 50 years old. Something I hadn’t previously heard. Some place I’d never previously lived.