American Supreme CD


Three decades and four studio albums after heading off under the monicker Suicide, Alan Vega and Martin Rev have released a new record - just 10 years after their album "Why Be Blue". Like it or not, their latest offering "American Supreme" is definitely a departure from the traditional Suicide sound.

Suicide are a cult band - that's because they never earned the respect they deserved, but rather remained unsung heroes for most of their career. Plus, they are rarely seen on stage and show little interest in releasing records. When Vega and Rev started to play New York clubs in the early 1970ies, they did not even have a record out, and it wasn't until the dawn of New Wave in 1976 that one of their songs appeared on a sampler-album.

Suicide's music must have been a real shock for 1970ies' audiences, as Rev and Vega played a harsh and noisy kind of rock music - but without the usual band line-up. Drums, bass and guitar had been replaced by sequenced sounds from a cheap synthesizer - the rock duo was born. While the music sounded distinctively mechanoid, Alan Vega used a really Blues-influenced way of reciting his lyrics.

Coupled with their arty approach, Suicide sounded like a futuristic version of The Stooges or Velvet Underground. A highly unusual mix in those days, and that's probably why Suicide were pigeonholed as some eccentric New Wave guys and booked to play with Punk bands of that era. Not a very good idea, it seems, as most of the Punk audience were clearly opposed to Disco-inspired electronic sounds and despised Suicide's rough, but bleepy tin-drum sound. The most embarrassing moment for the band must have been when they were forced off stage by an angry punk audience in Brussels. It's a strange fact that Suicide were indeed kind of "post-punk" before punk even happened.

In the 1980ies and 1990ies, both Rev and Vega went for solo careers, released two halfhearted and not very successful records as Suicide, and literally disappeared from the eyes of the public.

> 21st century Suicide

Suicide at the Barbican London, 1998

= Ghost riders through time
> 21st century Suicide