DEVO: Hardcore Volume 1: LP

It’s funny to me when a CD becomes a valuable collector’s item. Anyone searching for these ludicrously out of print volumes of Devo’s early output on Rykodisc over the past ten plus years likely found them priced for around eighty dollars. Devo finally let loose the reigns, making their early four tack demos available. Gems include unreleased early output like the emotionless robot anthem “Mechanical Man” along with slowed down versions of motorized masterpieces such as “Jocko Homo” and “Mongoloid.” Devo’s distinct sound arose from their ability to manipulate analog creaks and groans created on homemade equipment. The band’s personality is cemented in these early examples of Devolution. While it’s easy to consider this a fan-only release, the creativity of Devo’s early songwriting is essential and worth studying for any music fan. Both volumes of Hardcore present the ultimate lesson in proto punk.

 –Billups Allen (Superior Viaduct)