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Detroit Punk Band Death Rock New York City, Unveil Brand New Music

Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

Before the metal band out of Florida known as Death, there was a proto-punk band out of Detroit known as Death. In the 1970s, three brothers who were playing a mixture of funk, rock and soul in their parents’ house in Detroit, decided to up the ante with their music and focused on creating pure, raw rock and roll. Part of this shift in focus included changing their name to the controversial Death.

Nearly 40 years later, Death are celebrating the release of a documentary that details their career, a career that ended in 1976 and shot back into resurgence just a few years ago. With the documentary out to the masses, a release of master tapes they recorded in ’74 in record stores around the country and a new guitarist (brother David passed away in 2000) it only makes sense for Death to hit the road and bring their music to the stage. Last night (July 1) at New York City’s le poisson rouge, Death performed one of their first shows since their documentary, ‘A Band Called Death,’ hit the big screen.

Fans packed the underground club on Bleecker Street to see, as they were introduced before taking the stage, the “pioneers of punk rock.” It didn’t matter that the crowd couldn’t feel the venue’s air conditioning; with sweat dripping down everyone’s faces, spirits were high as Death raised the energy level with tunes like ‘Freaking Out,’ ‘Keep on Rockin” and ‘Rock-N-Roll Victim.’

While the bulk of Death’s set consisted of songs recorded in the ’70s, they unveiled two brand new tracks to the audience, ‘Playtime’ and ‘Relief.’ Singer and bassist Bobby Hackney piqued the crowd’s interest when he said both songs were being released exclusively on vinyl later this month.

With Bobby and his brother Dannis on drums rocking out like we can only imagine they did when they were teenagers, last night’s show proves that now that Death are back together, they have big plans for their future. Guitarist Bobbie Duncan and the brothers Hackney seem very humble in their newfound success, but also exhilarated about the potential their passion might reach with this brand new fan base.

No song captured the audience’s attention quite like ‘Politicians in My Eyes.’ The punk trio brought out good ol’ fashioned body slamming, crowd surfing and stage divers. Recorded in ’74 and released in ’76, the crowd’s reaction would have convinced an outsider that this song was at the top of the rock charts.

If this is your first time hearing of the band called Death, go out and pick up their release of their 1974 master tapes, ‘…For the Whole World to See’ and check out the documentary, ‘A Band Called Death.’ If Death come through your town – and we get the feeling they’re going to do everything they can to head out on a full-blown tour across the world – do everything you can to see them live. Nothing displays their ferocity and positive energy like seeing them running around stage and belting out near-perfect punk music.

Photos of Death at le poisson rouge

Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

 Watch the Official Trailer for ‘A Band Called Death’

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