SUICIDE is the American New Wave album that in 1977 merged rockabilly and electronic music. It’s the “underclass” epic of Frankie Teardrop, a metropolitan worker who kills wife and son and commits suicide. The sound is unique and innovative, a kind of railway engine similar to the one that comes from David Bowie’s Weeping Wall: an agonising railroad that in the same year links New York (the city where Alan Vega and his band come from) to Berlin (the place where Bowie recorded part of LOW with Brian Eno). These are not songs, but ghosts of songs, tracks that could have been melancholic or romantic (as the sanitised love song Cheree), and now are disfigured by a cold wall of sound produced by a hellish train. The nightmare emerging from this album is collective, it’s not about Frankie’s suicide, it’s about mankind’s fall, from the enjoyable syncopation of Ghost Rider to Frankie Teardrop, one of the most chilling, terrifying and suggestive trips in music history, made of industrial noises, screams and startling echoes. The tracks on the second cd are very interesting too: among them, Mr Ray, Las Vegas Man and 23 Minutes Over Brussels.
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