Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Alan Vega - Alan Vega

Alan Vega


Released 1980 on PVC
Reviewed by Lawrence, 30/11/2011ce


Anyways Suicide is a New York band often talked about but no one mentions the recordings the two members put out solo. Of course I could go on and on about Martin Rev's electro-motorik classic first album (every synth-addict needs to hear it.) Alan Vega has done more solo recordings than he's done in Suicide, and almost all the ones I've heard so far are worthwhile -- with Ric Ocasek of the Cars occasionally having a hand in them.

This first album is without Ocasek, self produced and only someone called Phil Hawk is credited on guitar, not much else except for drum machines or what sounds like actual drums (to me anyways...) The production and overall sound is as stark and stripped down as the first Suicide album in spite of the guitars. But of course one of the points of Suicide was that less is more...

But my main gist of reviewing this record is simply that I appreciate that a streetwise Hispanic proves that he can make swinging rockabilly-based music like the best of them, especially since now (sadly) there's been alot of racism in the rockabilly scene these days... Of course anybody who has studiously listened to Suicide can tell you much of their music has roots in rockabilly. Just the sparseness alone makes this record as authentic as the classic Sun material from long ago. But any revivalist probably would wish he could create something as chilling as "Ice Drummer" with its marching drum pattern and storybook lyrics. And Vega proves he can really croon too, on "Love Cry".

This would be a record that not only rockabilly cats must have, but also any hipster who claims they know about New York Punk will need this and hear it so that they really know what they're talking about.


Reviews Index