Monday, July 30, 2007

Suicide - Ghost Rider

Suicide were one of the first significant no-wave acts and the pioneers of the electroclash/ electropunk sound. What Suicide accomplished with their 1977 self-titled debut would be done to death in later years, but in its original form it still sounds just as affecting today. All their imitators simply pale in comparison (I'm looking at you the Faint!) although the Jesus and Mary Chain did take some of what Suicide laid down and made their own masterpiece from it. While they were never popular in their heyday, their influence was significant. In addition to the aforementioned, some of Suicide's fans were/are among Joy Division, R.E.M, Bruce Springsteen, the Cars, the Sisters of Mercy, Black Flag, and Soft Cell.

I'm going to feature the album's first track here, "Ghost Rider." If you can, first try and clear you mind from any thought of that terrible Nicholas Cage comic book movie. The song is pretty characteristic of Suicide's style, simplistic and repetitive distorted synth lines, drum machines used at its bare minimum, and idiosyncratic vocals, varying from deadpan to stammering to outright shrieking.

Suicide - Ghost Rider

"Ghost Rider motorcycle hero
Baby baby he's a lookin' so cute
Ridin' around in a blue jump suit

Ghost Rider motorcycle hero
Baby, baby, baby he's a blazin' away
Like the stars, stars, stars in the universe

Ghost Rider motorcycle hero
Baby, baby, baby he's screamin' the truth
America, America's killin' its youth

Hey baby he's screamin' away
America's killin' its youth

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider"

It's a bit surreal watching this live video, as the lighting, clothing and quality of footage seems so dated, but the music itself sounds so ahead of its time.

Another "Ghost Rider" video, but this time almost entirely focused on Alan Vega's face, emphasizing his vocal performance.

Suicide - First Album

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