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Published: 2014/08/05
by Ron Hart

Death
III

Drag City

Before being unearthed by the deep crate divers in the Drag City reissue department, the best kept secret in Detroit rock were private press proto-punkers Death. The story of three brothers, guitarist David, bassist Bobby and drummer Dannis Hackney, has since become one of the great yarns of modern rock lore, and recently the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary to boot. III is alleged to the last of the material known to exist from the band. And, like the film it accompanies, offers the most complete glimpse of Death’s creative arc from Motown hopefuls who discovered The Who and Alice Cooper, reflective in material recorded in the mid-70s like “We Are Only People”, “Restlessness” and “Free” on through to their final recordings in 1992, namely the hopeful “We’re Gonna Make It”, which exhibit a reflective tone that’s more early Thin Lizzy than the MC5. Never has the grimmest term in the English language sounded so sweet.

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