DEVO’s Hardcore documents the group’s beginning as prepunk
outcasts in the fertile Akron, Ohio, underground rock
scene. Spawned at the nearby college of Kent State, site of
the infamous May 4 Massacre, DEVO formed as a conceptual
art project armed with the radical philosophy of de-evolution.
Brothers Mothersbaugh (Mark, Bob and Jim) and Brothers
Casale (Jerry and Bob) along with drummer Alan Myers soon
whipped up an otherworldly brand of “devolved blues” that
could hold its own alongside the beatnik groove of 15-60-75
(a.k.a. The Numbers Band) or the primal rock poetry of The Bizarros.
Recorded on various four-track machines and in tiny studios,
basements and garages between 1974-1977, Hardcore reveals
their strikingly clear vision: rock ’n’ roll stripped bare of its collective
cool and jerked back into propaganda fit for post-modern
man. It’s no surprise that these transmissions would soon catch
the eye and ear of Brian Eno, who later produced their landmark
1978 debut album. Noisy synth, strangled guitar chops
and a primitive rhythmic thud power the early DEVO sound.
Threaded beneath it all are lyrical themes of post-McCarthy
paranoia, middle-class ephemera and DEVO’s long-running
topic of choice: sex, or lack thereof.
Few moments in pop music history can match the grinding,
pent-up energy of “Mongoloid” and the spastic bounce and sputter
of “Jocko Homo” (two anthems presented in their earlier
and superior versions here). Cult favorites like “Mechanical
Man” and “Auto-Modown” make Volume 1 essential listening.
Superior Viaduct and Booji Boy Records are proud to present
DEVO’s Hardcore to a new generation of spuds, lovingly
packaged with Moshe Brakha’s stunning cover photography. As
David Bowie said in 1977, DEVO is indeed “the band of the