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Suicide
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Performer Notes
  • Suicide: Martin Rev, Allen Vega.
  • Suicide: Alan Vega (vocals); Martin Rev (synthesizer).
  • Includes a bonus disc of live recordings.
  • Suicide: Alan Vega (vocals); Martin Rev (keyboards).
  • Seven years after the duo's inception, Suicide's debut album finally sneaked out in 1977 on the coat tails of the nascent New York punk scene. If its aim had been to confuse, startle, or repulse, SUICIDE succeeded in spades. By the same token, if a part-time sculptor and avant-garde jazz musician form a two-chord synthesizer duo and call it Suicide, commercial considerations are presumably low on their list of priorities. SUICIDE was a record destined to have future journalists reaching for words like "seminal". Synth duos start here.
  • SUICIDE's bleak, one-act plays of violence and sexual deviance, and that lo-fi monotone punctuated by sleazy groans and horrifying screams, still induce nervous tension despite the passing years. To hear Alan Vega, an Elvis caricature out of time, crooning "Girl" is unsettling enough. When he acts out the desperation of "Frankie Teardrop" over the strictly controlled minimalism of Martin Rev's grinding keyboard and time-bomb rhythm, you're guaranteed a listening experience quite unlike any other.
Professional Reviews
Spin (8/98, p.139) - 10 (out of 10) - "...SUICIDE itself is beyond classica, a spare, claustrophobic collection that bottled big-city paranoia like nothing before or since. In spite of many attempts, no one has ever come close to replicating its monolithic vibe....Suicide didn't gesture at the surrounding darkness so much as point us toward the light..."

Q (7/01, p.90) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time" - "...Musically representing an utterly debased humanity - knackered keyboards and a cheapo drum machine. The sound was Kraftwerk go rockabilly in hell..."

Q (5/02 SE, p.142) - Included in Q's "100 Best Punk Albums".

The Wire (3/98, p.58) - "...attests to their terrifying immediacy....The dominant tone is dark, dripping off-white, run through with thin veins of lurid color....This is the kind of raw power that makes your hair stand on end. This kind of music is what electricity is for."

The Wire (3/98, p.58) - "...attests to their terrifying immediacy....The dominant tone is dark, dripping off-white, run through with thin veins of lurid color....This is the kind of raw power that makes your hair stand on end. This kind of music is what electricity is for."

Mojo (Publisher) (3/03, p.76) - Ranked #36 in Mojo's "Top 50 Punk Albums" - "...A primitive synth and a swooning, screaming rockabilly voice spun tales of darkness..."

Pitchfork (Website) - "The godfathers of no wave use bits of punk, post-punk, and disco, connecting them all through attitude."
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