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Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
     

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

5.0 2
by Devo
 

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These self-proclaimed "spud boys" from the darkest recesses of Akron, Ohio, claimed to know the truth about de-evolution -- a theory of human disntigration that grows more prescient with each passing year. More important, however, the quintet chose to preach its gospel through a strain of sinister, robotic synth-rock that sounded utterly otherworldly when it burst

Overview

These self-proclaimed "spud boys" from the darkest recesses of Akron, Ohio, claimed to know the truth about de-evolution -- a theory of human disntigration that grows more prescient with each passing year. More important, however, the quintet chose to preach its gospel through a strain of sinister, robotic synth-rock that sounded utterly otherworldly when it burst upon the scene in the late '70s. Heck, songs like "Mongoloid" and "Jocko Homo" (the one with the unforgettable chant that gives this 1978 album its title) still sound like aliens had a hand in the mix. Devo's herky-jerky minimalism and radiation-suit stage wear may have given some onlookers the perception that they were only kidding -- which, occasionally (as on a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction"), they were. Still, the band's impact -- both on an increasingly synthetic music scene and a pop-culture Nostradamus level -- can't be underestimated.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Produced by Brian Eno, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was a seminal touchstone in the development of American new wave. It was one of the first pop albums to use synthesizers as an important textural element, and although they mostly play a supporting role in this guitar-driven set, the innovation began to lay the groundwork for the synth-pop explosion that would follow very shortly. Q: Are We Not Men also revived the absurdist social satire of the Mothers of Invention, claiming punk rock's outsider alienation as a home for freaks and geeks. While Devo's appeal was certainly broader, their sound was tailored well enough to that sensibility that it still resonates with a rabid cult following. It isn't just the dadaist pseudo-intellectual theories, or the critique of the American mindset as unthinkingly, submissively conformist. It was the way their music reflected that view, crafted to be as mechanical and robotic as their targets. Yet Devo hardly sounded like a machine that ran smoothly. There was an almost unbearable tension in the speed of their jerky, jumpy rhythms, outstripping Talking Heads, XTC, and other similarly nervy new wavers. And thanks to all the dissonant, angular melodies, odd-numbered time signatures, and yelping, sing-song vocals, the tension never finds release, which is key to the album's impact. It also doesn't hurt that this is arguably Devo's strongest set of material, though several brilliant peaks can overshadow the remainder. Of those peaks, the most definitive are the de-evolution manifesto "Jocko Homo" (one of the extremely few rock anthems written in 7/8 time) and a wicked deconstruction of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which reworks the original's alienation into a spastic freak-out that's nearly unrecognizable. But Q: Are We Not Men? also had a conceptual unity that bolstered the consistent songwriting, making it an essential document of one of new wave's most influential bands.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/03/2009
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624972211
catalogNumber:
521441
Rank:
29328

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Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! [Bonus Tracks] 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.