We were one of millions who were blown away by the "found" recordings of Detroit late 60s-early 70s proto punk band Death, commonly known as For All The World To See. Sure, they were waaaaay ahead of their time, without influence from others, et cetera et cetera. What it all comes down to is, Death fucking rocked. Who knows what would have happened if fate didn't fuck with the formula, but at least we still have these remnants. And it's like discovering an influential band all for yourself - soemthing that doesn't happen half as much as it used to nowadays...
Spiritual, Mental, Physical (out via Drag City) is an odds and sods collection of demos by the band circa 1974-1976. The material presented here was transferred from old reel-to-reel tapes and the primitive sound enhances what could be the findings from an architectural dig. There are traces of what would become For The Whole World To See, but this collection oftentimes finds the band noodling around in much of the later content - true four track material then. Therefore Spiritual, Mental, Physical finds the band trading in jagged punk, 'Views' amongst Beatles inflected rock and roll on 'The Mask.' I love the Beatles angle, seeing as history dictates that it was watching the Fab Four on TV that made the Hackney brothers want to play music in the first place - even if their stylings would take them down a decidedly different route, such as the jangly 'World of Tomorrow' which is a brief glimpse of the straightforward style of rock that the Hackney Brothers were capable of.
It won't all work for casual listeners - 'Can You Give Me A Thrill' goes forever as far as punk rock songs go (although that's why I think it's brilliant) and the last three tracks are effectivly noodling solos. But its just another chapter in what is a curious part of rock history - and one that is not dry, but lays the rock sauce on thick.
Death - Views