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There was an aesthetic revolution implied in the coupling of Alan Vega's reckless rockabilly howling and the hypnotic buzz and drone of Martin Rev's keys, and that revolution in sound birthed (perhaps unwittingly) two primary schools of synthesized rock: wimpy, gutless new wave duos and the painful dissonance of bands like Skinny Puppy, Foetus, and the later Chicago Wax-Trax scene. For better and for worse, Suicide enabled the industrial revolution. Half Alive is an essential reissue of the original ROIR cassette from 1981, compiling extremely rare early demo material and live tracks from 1974-1979. It's a mesmerizing, confrontational listen, and even more importantly ' when contextualized in that time period, that harsh and beautiful juxtaposition of futuristic minimalism and anachronistic crooning (imagine Gene Vincent cornered on a mixture of quaaludes and speed), is confounding. Vega's scream is as damn reckless, damn frightening, and as full of abandon as a Stooges live show from the early '70s. Suicide went on to record a handful of indispensable albums before splitting up and reuniting innumerable times. If nothing else, this collection documents the peculiar fury of proto-industrial music prior to its eventual emasculation and/or reconfiguration as the millieu of studio hounds and gothic make-up artists.