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Death: Spiritual Mental Physical



Album: Spiritual Mental Physical
Label: Drag City

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In 2009, Drag City introduced devotees of rock obscurities to Death, a trio formed in the early ’70s by the Hackney brothers of Detroit. Originally an R&B/funk act, Death’s members became preoccupied with the proto-punk sounds coming out of their city, and recorded an abbreviated set of raging, experimental rock songs for a major-label debut album that was never completed. Drag City released those seven songs as …For The Whole World To See, and have now followed that up with Spiritual Mental Physical, a collection of demos. Nothing on the new set is as mind-blowing as The Whole World’s alternately assaultive and trippy “Politicians In My Eyes,” but in some ways, the Hackneys sounded even more ahead of their time when they were just dicking around. Songs like “World Of Tomorrow,” “Can You Give Me A Thrill???”, and “The Storm Within” aren’t too different from what any other heavy bar band might’ve come up with at the time, but the dreamy instrumental “The Change” is surprisingly pretty for a bunch of garage-rockers, and no one in Death’s era was trying anything as crazy as “The Masks,” which rips off the melody to The Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life” between spells of flat-out thrashing. That song sounds ahead of its time even now.