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All the Wrong People Are Dying

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Album Review

All the Wrong People Are Dying collects about everything the Cleveland band the Styrenes released from 1982 to 1993: the 1989 LP A Monster and the Devil, plus 1982 and 1996 12"s and a 1991 compilation track. The band was fronted by Mike Hudson, a teller of down-to-earth urban stories dealing with death, violence and stupidity. His narration was backed pianist Paul Marotta's music, rock numbers adapting to Hudson's moods. Most of the songs (vocals apart) sound like a less structured Mott the Hoople or David Bowie circa Aladdin Sane. There is a glam rock feel to some of the music that is vehemently contradicted by Hudson's detached anti-star delivery. The exception is "Jetsam," a 20-minute story backed by incidental free improvisation. The core of the band is made of Hudson, Marotta, guitarist Jamie Klimek, drummer Paul Laurence, and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm (who would become a hot free improviser in the late '90s). The CD also features contributions from Marty Ehrlich, Tom Kirchmer, and David Licht, among others. Except for the older song "True Confessions," All the Wrong People Are Dying is a very cohesive record. The gloomy atmosphere, the avant-gardist arrangements backed by straight rock structures, and Hudson's strange stories hold it together and make for a unique listening experience. The stories are included in the 12-page booklet. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Formed: Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Cleveland proto-punk combo the Styrenes was originally formed in 1971 by singer/guitarist Jamie Klimek, bassist Craig Bell, and drummer Mike Weldon; initially dubbed the Mirrors, the three high schoolers soon added guitarist Jim Crook to the lineup, honing a noisy pop sound so out of step with other local acts that live gigs became impossible to come by. Still, the Mirrors forged ahead, recording a 1975 session which eventually yielded the single "She Smiled Wild," issued on Pere Ubu's David Thomas'...
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All the Wrong People Are Dying, The Styrenes
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