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Ain't no hyperbole, ain't no cliché... DEATH know how to rock!

It's evident within the first five seconds of N.E.W., the group's first full length of fresh material since they reunited back in 2009. Four fierce bars of riffs punch you in and fire you off with the trundling drums under a slick guitar line, a succinct demonstration of their balance of psychedelic sizzle with punk bluster, the soul and grime of Detroit-bred garage rock congealed by a wisdom and a chemistry that can only come from long, hard years, decades even, of friendship and collaboration.

Back in the early '70s, just as the Stooges and MC5 began to fizzle out, three African-American brothers, David, Dannis and Bobby Hackney, began building the next bridge of Detroit punk, a fierce blend of psychedelic-tinged soul and combustible rock rhythms. They nearly got a record contract with Columbia, but they refused to change their name to something more palatable. As their brother David predicted, on his death bed back in 2000, vindication would one day come, just as Drag City Records helped shine a light on the excavation of their recordings from 1975, to prove that this group was "the missing link" in punk rock.

That said, with the remaining Hackney brothers forging ahead, they not only haven't missed a beat, they've actually evolved, tighter, tougher, faster, louder, and, most important of all, as thoughtful and contemplative in their lyrics, truly bringing in that uniquely folk-singer-esque commentary upon society and the greater shared existence of humanity.

Yes, all of that, wended around a furious, four-minute rock ripper, scintillating with mean-sounding rhythmic riffs that could almost come off as metal, drums splashed with cymbals, guitars harkening Hendrixian dynamism and a lead vocal still full of vibrancy. In this way, exemplified best in the careening boogie of 'Playtime' or back-and-forth hook catapulted into a pounded crescendo during 'Look At Your Life', the music and its players affect a comparable timelessness.

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