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Collision Drive

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Album Review

Collision Drive continues the trend started on the first Alan Vega album of incorporating Vega's love of '50s rock and R&B. "Ghost Rider," which sounded cold, sleek, and mechanical on Suicide's first album, now becomes an upbeat rockabilly rave-up. Vega covers Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" and plays it mostly straight (although he does throw in his trademark howls and yelps, along with some synthesizers). The two versions of "Magdalena" aren't really different enough to justify their presence, although the song itself is likable. The track that stands out the most, however, is the 13-minute "Viet Vet," an extended poetic rant in the pattern of Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop." It will either seem like a brilliant piece of performance art, or it will sound unbearably self-indulgent, depending on a listener's tolerance for Vega's excesses. For the most part, though, rollicking tracks like "Raver" and "Rebel Rocker" are enjoyable and exciting enough to offset any of the less successful experiments. Collision Drive may be uneven, but at its best, it will definitely provide more than enough smart art pop to chew on. ~ Victor W. Valdivia, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1948 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

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

One half of the seminal electronic duo Suicide, Alan Vega was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1948. He began his career as a visual artist, gaining notoriety for his "light sculptures"; eventually Vega opened his own lower Manhattan gallery space, which he dubbed the Project of Living Artists. The Project served as a stomping grounds for the likes of the New York Dolls, Television, and Blondie as well as the 15-piece jazz group Reverend B., which featured a musician named Martin Rev on electric piano. Soon,...
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Collision Drive, Alan Vega
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