No New York album cover
No New York

Various Artists


Before there was noise-rock, there was no wave. This compilation, recorded by Brian Eno in 1978, features four tracks each by four bands: the Contortions, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Mars, and DNA. Each one does something different, but they all fit together as a shrieking ball of live-wire intensity. The Contortions deliver a jagged punk funk (their cover of James Brown’s “I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)” is breathtaking); Teenage Jesus & the Jerks are the sound of the world’s angriest teenage girl and her friends stabbing you with broken bottles; Mars created improvised-sounding chaos with wordless vocals and deliberately untrained instrumental approaches, making it seem like they were forever on the brink of coming up with a song but never quite getting there; and DNA’s best qualities were Ikue Mori’s primitive drumming and Arto Lindsay’s barbed-wire, detuned guitar.

Phil Freeman

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