Life for ‘A Band Called Death’

A Band Called Death

It’s summer blockbuster movie season, but for those of us interested in eschewing loud spectacles in favor of the smaller cinematic wonders, I’d like to recommend A Band Called Death for the top of your must-see list. In theaters on June 28, but available via iTunes VOD on May 24, the documentary tells the story of three teenage brothers—Bobby, David, and Dannis Hackney—from Detroit, Michigan, making punk rock before there was definable punk in the USA. Not only was this trio of misfits making killer original music at a time when disco and Motown were each having their respective moments, they were blasting the typical labels placed on artists at that time. And even though they disbanded before finishing their first album, going so far as to lock up their master tapes in an attic, they have since gone on to acquire the most unique semi-posthumous fame.

Though the band pressed a single and played local gigs, they had trouble garnering the attention of record labels as many found a trio of black punks—and their band name—too intimidating to sign. But when a 1974 demo tape found it’s way out of obscurity and began influencing a younger genration of musicians and fans, the band suddenly experienced a resurrection. I’m thrilled to find out more about the band and their first album, …For the Whole World to See, which has some fantastic cover artwork. Check out the trailer with a cameo by Henry Rollins below.

Death album covers

May 21, 2013 / By