Sunday, December 24, 2017

DEVO - Hardcore, Vol. 3 - 4 plus Ultracore

Ho Ho Ho, it's DEVO....

The first bootleg I ever listened to was a cassette dub of early DEVO tracks. I forget the collection's name, probably something cheesy like Potato People, but the music was enthralling. Here was DEVO, a band I knew from local radio's Retro Friday playlists, but the music was nothing like "Whip It," or even anything from their first album. Which I was years away from hearing, now that I think about it. Anyway.

What I'm getting at, is how the two Hardcore DEVO CDs are one of those records I've owned multiple copies of over the years and the music on them still appeals to me. The lo-fi synths and early rhythm machines have a timeless appeal, recorded with just low enough fidelity they fit in alongside all the rest of the mix. The lyrics mix razor-sharp wit - "Fraulein" takes a joke about a German mothering telling her son he'll grow up gassing people to the logical extreme of a guy owning a gas station - with punk attitude and chops, although nobody would have called them that in 1974.

The two CDs here are not part of the official DEVO canon. They're called Hardcore Vol. 3 and Hardcore Vol. 4, but have nothing to do with the old Ryko/new Superior Viaduct issues. But these outtakes hold their own: the sorta theme song "Smart Patrol:, presented here as a rough demo, a stripped down "Can You Take It," or "Red Shark," whose jerky drum machine rhythms point the way to New Traditionalists and DEVO's more popular years.

Since it's Christmas and all, I've also thrown in something called Ultracore,  which is more outtakes from the same period, but with some overlap. It's a little closer to the bootleg I remember, which also opened with "DEVO Corporate Anthem," and there's a little better fidelity on some stuff, while others are in alternate takes or mixes. It's an interesting companion and helps fill in the picture: some of these songs were probably them goofing around in the studio, but others were songs they worked on and polished over the mid 70s. As Paul Harvey might say, "and now you know the rest of the story."


M.D. Milner said...

Search Here

rev.b said...

Any chance for reups of Vols 3 & 4? The links are now dead. In the meantime, thanks for Ultracore and all the rest.

M. Milner said...

Hey Rev, here ya go: