THE SECOND ALBUM PLUS THE FIRST REHEARSAL TAPES
DOUBLE ALBUM MUTE RELEASE: JUNE 28, 1999 REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 6, 1999
Mute's second re-release of Suicide material includes the band's second, pop-bent album from 1980 and another record of early rehearsal tracks from 1975. The cover is a picture of Martin Rev and Alan Vega, posing in their street clothes in the early days of Suicide. They look a lot like gang members from the terrible and wonderful seventies movie "The Warriors".
The album sounds surprisingly laidback and suave, far from the ragged outbursts that the name Suicide conjures in your mind (at least if you've heard the first album). Undoubtedly, the poppy electronics of songs like "Shadazz" gave birth to a horde of synthesizer bands that then kept us going through the eighties and beyond (think Depeche Mode, Stereolab and so on).
Listening with late pre-millennial earphones, this album sounds a bit more worn out than it's predecessor. Rather than screaming or hissing, Alan Vega talks and sings over the repetitive melodies like a young Lou Reed, but without much intensity.
Both songs from Suicide's most successful single ever, "Dream Baby Dream" (the second song is "Radiation") have been added to the album as bonus tracks and stand out together with the aforementioned "Shadazz" as great songs.
So what about the rehearsal tapes? Well, this is where we find the ragged parts. Vega's whispers and groans are as raspy as Tricky's asthmatic rapping and Martin Rev swerves between disharmonic snippets of circus music and dark industrial sounds.