Barely coherent nihilism from Suicide...
Thirty years ago, Alan Vega
and Martin Rev elevated barely coherent nihilism to an art form, galvanising everyone from
Soft Cell and Cabaret Voltaire
to Primal Scream to ARE Weapons in the process.
They might be getting extremely long in the tooth now but watching these gods of electronica rage against their demons almost a quarter of a century after their eponymous debut tore synth-pop a new soul
is nothing short of mesmerising.
Tonight is, essentially, a metal machine karaoke, with Vega barking and spitting like Satan’s pitbull, and Rev shaking seven shades of cacophonony from his keyboard while scowling like The Incredible Hulk. Trad-spotting purists may blanch at the duo’s toolbox deconstruction of their finest wares, the way ‘Che’ and ‘Rocket USA’ are smoked out of their pristine burrows before being beaten senseless by Vega’s disembowelled howls and Rev’s sucker-punching synth bravado. But really, Suicide were always about the unexpected; the melding of the avant-garde and the antagonistic, the icily dispassionate and the hopelessly romantic. And, in the echoing threat of a still-devastating ‘Frankie Teardrop’, the future – however incoherent – still sounds like it belongs to them.