…For the Whole World to See
It’s been said that this band of Black brothers from Detroit anticipated punk, but it’s also worth emphasizing that David, Bobby, and Dannis Hackney were making a valiant effort at reclaiming hard rock from an increasingly segregated industry retreating towards a whitewashed AOR canon. In any case, this EP’s worth of scraps from an unfinished, sadly aborted mid ’70s effort at winning over a skeptical Clive Davis is just singularly strange in a way that only the best genre-agnostic Detroiters can really be. Maybe there’s some “I have seen the future and it is the Ramones” prescience in the hyperspeed attacks of “Rock-N-Roll Victim,” “You’re a Prisoner,” and “Where Do We Go From Here???” But without the pretense of being an oppositional force to mainstream arena rock — the Hackneys were more enthused than repelled by the big-ticket likes of The Who and Alice Cooper — Death’s sound hit on something just as inspired, a DIY version of dirtbag Camaro rock that narrowed the gap between the garage and the stadium.