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Friday, March 2, 2012

Never Heard of 'Em: Suicide

Posted by on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Editor's note: Anna Minard, the latest addition to the Stranger's editorial gaggle, has never heard any music aside from Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Thus, starting today and following every Wednesday, we present Never Heard of 'Em, in which we force her to listen to and write her impressions about random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.

Suicide [First Album]
(Red Star Records)

Suicide by Suicide
Hey, I actually liked this! I was afraid from the album cover and name that it was going to be what I affectionately refer to as “shouty music,” but it totally wasn’t (though there is occasional shouting—no, it’s more like shrieking, which is totally different). If you are a music nerd, you are contractually obligated to tell me, “Ugh, you should have heard of Suicide by now.”* Well, I hadn’t. But now I have. Apparently it’s, um, proto-punk? (I don't know what that means.) It sounds a little bit like church on drugs. There’s something that sounds like an automatic sprinkler going off in the background of almost every song; I think it is a kind of drum? I will go ahead and assume it is their signature move. I can’t tell why it all sounds weird but it does that funny vibratey thing down my spine that good music does, so high five.

Important note: Even though this is obviously a great album, I highly unrecommend listening to it early in the morning, especially if you are hungover or still drunk from last night. Seriously. That sprinkler thing is operating on the exact frequency of the part of your brain that isn’t working right and it’ll mess you up. So when should you listen to it? Here are some ideas:

Listen to the first track, “Ghost Rider,” when you can shut the door of your room and turn it all the way up and then pretend to play all of the instruments** at once. Air everything until you fall over.

Cheree”: Listen to it on repeat while you lie on your bed and think about someone you have a crush on until your stomach hurts. (It's just so... yearn-y.)

Girl”: Listen to it on the bus and then grin at everyone because they can’t tell you’re listening to sex groans.

Frankie Teardrop”: Fast-forward that shit.

All in all, I give this an I-don’t-know-a-fucking-thing-about-music out of 10. You should definitely try listening to it, and then when we meet at a party you should act like you’d already heard of it and make fun of me. Listen to "Ghost Rider" after the cut.

*Actual quote!
**Apparently, there are basically no instruments? Google it. I guess you're just gonna have to play air drum machine, which is HELLA DUMB.


Comments (19) RSS

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cosby 1
This is easily in my top 20 favorite albums of all time. Also, I kind of like this review - I feel like not knowing what is making all of the sounds makes it a little more interesting than knowing what is going on.
Posted by cosby on March 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
No reaction to the bonus disc of the re-issue, including the classic "23 minutes over Brussels" riot?

Still, this is generally fairly accurate. Frankie Teardrop is insanely influential, but damn it's a downer when you're just trying to listen to music at work.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on March 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
Allyn 3
This is a great idea. Can't wait for more music reviews like this. I've requested the CD from the library.
Posted by Allyn on March 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
"Actual instruments" is kind of a snobby thing to say. Martin Rev is playing the keyboards with his hands while playing the basslines with pedals. The percussion comes from a drum machine, which is like a drummer except better in pretty much every way.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on March 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Awesome, I will follow along with this and listen to the music as well.
Posted by kathy. on March 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
levide 6
Electronic instruments are 'actual' instruments, FYI.
Posted by levide on March 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 7
Anna, you're talking my language. Now we finally have something in common besides periods!
Posted by Cienna Madrid on March 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 8
@4, please clarify. I can agree that drum machines are better than actual drummers (the people playing the drums), but please admit they're inferior in almost every way to drums (the instrument being played).
Posted by TortoiseTurtle on March 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Mr_Friendly 9
"All in all, I give this an I-don’t-know-a-fucking-thing-about-music out of 10"

Excellent. I'm going to start using this rating standard for everything from now on.
Posted by Mr_Friendly on March 2, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
I like this format. It's like having my wife review semi trucks. "It's big and red and it looks like it could pull stuff. I like it." The nice thing about having someone who knows nothing about music review music is that other people who know nothing about music can relate. When a reviewer describes something as "proto-post death scream classical crossed with Supertramp on Ketamine I really don't know what to expect so I tune out.
Posted by Niloc Yessirb on March 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
this is stupid
Posted by powerful hound on March 2, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
True story, circa 1988:

When I was in high school my friend and I used to listen to a "College Music" radio show in our hometown every weekend. Saturday night, if memory serves. We didn't like the dj (or were envious of her, which translated into hatred) and started to prank call her just after midnight every week by only playing a segment of "Frankie Teardrop" into the phone and then handing up at the most disturbing moments, post scream. Cue: *cackle* "...Frankie's dead!"

We must have done this for months. I can only imagine the torment that we inflicted on this poor 20-something woman. She had no idea who was doing it or where it came from.

The moral of this story: Teenagers are assholes.

Subtext: We had pretty awesome musical tastes for Midwestern teens in the late 80s.
Posted by Dod on March 2, 2012 at 9:34 PM · Report this
Although I bought this record when it came out, I have never heard of Richard Marx or Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
But you can skip reviewing them if you want, and move right along to Al Green or Pere Ubu or Tom Waits or something, fine with me.
Posted by CATSPAW666 on March 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM · Report this


Posted by lol machines on March 3, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
LEE. 15
I dig this idea. music writing has gotten so pompous and self-referential that it's refreshing to listen to a person's take on an album that isn't completely jaded/not using it as an excuse to unpack a shit load of cultural baggage attached to the sound. plus, you're talking about one of my favorite albums, so HUZZAH!
Posted by LEE. on March 3, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
Did you write this in the Cha Cha when they were playing Frankie Teardrop Friday night?
Posted by pioneer on March 3, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
yos-wa 17
@13 - i would like to hear an "uninformed" review of a pere ubu album. good idea. anna, do "modern dance" next!
Posted by yos-wa on March 6, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
I can't believe what a snob this reviewer is.
Posted by mustachio on March 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
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