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Destroy All Monsters 1974-1976

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Editors’ Notes

Destroy All Monsters began as Detroit’s noisy anti-rock reaction to the corporate rock of the ‘70s, but they ended up inspiring artists like Patti Smith, Pussy Galore, early Pavement recordings and Sonic Youth (whose Thurston Moore released posthumous recordings of the band). The band comprised Ron Asheton of the Stooges and Michael Davis from MC5 as well as proto-punk luminary Larry Miller, avant-garde noisemaker Ben Miller and front-woman Niagara (a former model). Spanning two years following the band’s inception, this amazing 76-song-deep compilation begins with “Siren,” an experiment in feedback, distortion, reverb and minimalist rhythms, before songs like “Conga” and “Blow Hole” reveal a love for Sun Ra and science-fiction B-movie futurism. It’s not until the horror-rock tune “Vampire” that we get some semblance of a proper song with singing and changes, while their lo-fi deconstructionist cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” provided the template for Pussy Galore’s take on the Stones’ Exile On Main St. The proto-punk influence of Ron Asheton can be heard on “Detroit” and “21st Century.”

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Ann Arbor, MI

Genre: Rock

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

An anti-rock band founded in direct reaction to the pretensions and complacency of 1970s pop music, the Detroit-based noise deconstructionists Destroy All Monsters earned their greatest attention at the peak of the punk era, thanks to a lineup that included alumni of the MC5 and the Stooges. Named after a cult-favorite Japanese monster movie, Destroy All Monsters was formed in 1973 by art students Niagara (a former model), Jim Shaw, Mike Kelley, and Cary Loren; influenced by everything from underground...
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