sun 19/09/2021

Album: Alan Vega - Alan Vega After Dark | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Alan Vega - Alan Vega After Dark

Album: Alan Vega - Alan Vega After Dark

The second posthumous album this year ranks among the Suicide singer's very best

Following in the slipstream of wide critical acclaim for posthumous album Mutator, released earlier this year, comes Alan Vega After Dark by the former Suicide frontman.

It’s a starkly different album to its predecessor, swapping concrete collisions and considered collages for the tremolo tones of vintage rock and roll, the driving krautrock energy of 70s Dusseldorf and the space cadet cadence of… well, of Alan Vega.

Vega’s last live band recording, made in 2015 in collaboration with members of Pink Slip Daddy, a band similarly steeped in the spirit of rock and roll and the pure power of repetition, was born out of spontaneity. Insisting on no preparation whatsoever, Vega gathered the players in a rehearsal room in New York’s Greenwich Village, got them to jam and jumped in to riff whenever the feeling hit.

The result is six songs of primitive power, recorded in a single night. The ride may not be the longest, clocking in at just over half an hour, but it’s certainly wild. From the rockabilly opening notes of “Nothing Left”, through the primal groove of “Hi Speed Roller” and the lizard lounge lurch of “Out of Town”, to the soaring “Wings of Glory”, Vega’s phrasing and timing are pitched perfectly, underscoring each song’s intent. And, while the words occasionally swerve away from the ear, every growl, every yelp, acts as percussive and persuasive punctuation – raw, elemental and vital.

As swan songs go, it’s flawlessly coherent. After a few listens, the songs start to sound like perfect forms, stretched to near breaking point, naturally, yet passing the stress test with ease. However, to see it as an Alan Vega solo album is to do the other musicians here a massive disservice. This record is among the singer’s very best, sure, but the plaudits should go equally to guitarist Ben Vaughn, bassist and keyboard player Barb Dwyer and drummer Palmyra Delran.

“There is a future, there is a future” intones Vega on the album’s fabulously chaotic finale “The Record Speed”. One can’t help hoping that, for Pink Slip Daddy, there really is.

@jahshabby

While the words occasionally swerve away from the ear, every growl, every yelp, acts as percussive and persuasive punctuation

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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