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

January 01, 1970

(Warner Bros) www.warnerbrosrecords.com

 

BY JASON GROSS

 

 

Alongside their funny outfits, it’s hard to remember that
these mid-Westerners ushered in new wave and the era of weird videos, not to
mention an old-school conservative philosophy (‘de-evolution’ said that we were
regressing, right?) and ironic knocks on consumer culture.  But all of that would be meaningless without
the music, which was still yoked to guitars but also ID’d by the freaky synth
sounds that producer Brian Eno helped them achieve. 

 

Their greatest achievement might have been how they were
able to lionize the nerds and geeks, long before the computer age.  Nerds themselves, they found sex confusing
and daunting – the onanism of “Praying Hands,” the bad coitus of
“Sloppy” and the broken spastic funk reworking of the Stones’
“Satisfaction.”  Their geek
factor also made them peg themselves as Darwinian mis-haps (“Jocko
Homo”) and sympathize with other freaks (“Mongoloid”).  Especially after the grunge crowd idolized
them, it was indeed the revenge of the nerds.

 

Standout Tracks: “Jocko Homo,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

 

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