The Detroit proto-punk band Death broke up in 1977 without much fame or fanfare. They spent the greater part of three decades in obscurity until the band of brothers—David, Dannis, and Bobby Hackney—was rediscovered in 2009. Drag City re-released their original album, For the Whole World to See, and a hit documentary about the group titled A Band Called Death quickly followed. Punk's missing link was finally getting the appreciation they deserved.
Death bridged the gap between the raucous revolution rock of bands like MC5 and the arty, progressive position of New York bands like Television. They played hard rock with a hardcore punk attitude decades before anyone coined that phrase. Death were so ahead of the curve, it's taken us almost a half a century to recognize their brilliance.
Now, the band is releasing their first album of newly recorded music since 1975's For the Whole World to See, and they sound just as energetic and hard-hitting as they did 40 years ago. It's appropriately called N.E.W. and it's dropping April 21 via Tryangle Records.