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Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early '70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hoped of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death's music - and band name - too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made it way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossible ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers. Written by
There's an undercurrent of disappointment throughout the story of a band called Death. Misunderstood and marginalized in their time, they endured a lot of rejection and settled into lives that turned out differently than for what they had hoped. Then, after their music is rediscovered and shared, they reunite, but with a heavy heart knowing their visionary leader did not live to see the rebirth. And yet, through that malaise, the band's story is one of joy, familial devotion, and believing in something so strongly, it can't help but come true. It shows that powerful art can create double lives. It shows the unknown pleasures of digging into the past for the untold stories. And the songs? Dang man, these songs slay.
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