Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (Warner Bros.) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Devo

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

Warner Bros.

Jan 11, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Devo is Akron Ohio’s Greatest Musical Act. Granted, there’s not much competition for the title. Chrissie Hynde? Well, she shipped off to the U.K. before she made it big. Disqualified. The Black Keys? Great band. But it would be a shame for any townparticularly the one-time “Rubber Capital of the World”to have a musical heritage that begins in the 21st century, and it’s hard to see how any act can compete with the sublime weirdness that is Devo.

For anyone who knows Devo primarily through their 1980 keyboard-heavy novelty hit “Whip It,” the band’s 1978 debut, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!with its sparse, interlocking guitar, bass, and drumsis bound to surprise.

To be sure, the album owes an undeniable debt to Krautrock (producer Brian Eno surely took the band to Germany to record it for a reason), and it’s impossible to miss the (undoubtedly mutual) influences of Devo’s late-1970s contemporaries, from Nick Lowe to The Talking Heads. But one only has to take a listen to the clunky-but-funky groove on the band’s improbably reinvention of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to hear Devo’s undeniable originality. In fact, after listening to Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, it’s startling to hear echoes of Devo in today’s indie rock favorites like Spoon and Vampire Weekend.

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is undeniably a must-hear. But this reissue is so-so. Yes, the remastering is tasteful and a marked improvement over the original pressing, but the bonus live renditions aren’t really essential and could have been easily (and preferably) replaced by rarities or outtakes. Still, if you’re only going to get one album by Akron’s greatest band, this is probably the one to get. (www.clubdevo.com)

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Nausicrate
January 10th 2011
3:12pm

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is undeniably a must-hear. the album owes an undeniable debt to Krautrock (producer Brian Eno surely took the band to Germany to record it for a reason), and it’s impossible to miss the (undoubtedly mutual) influences of Devo’s late-1970s contemporaries, from Nick Lowe to The Talking Heads. “Rolex Prices