Always eager to share with the public unsung and unheralded music from Detroit, Third Man Records is ecstatic to announce the release of works by two seminal bands from the area.
While RockFire Funk Express never released any music while they were officially a band, in 1973 they recorded a two-song single at United Sound Systems, a legendary Detroit studio that recorded everyone from John Coltrane, John Lee Hooker, the MC5 and countless others. The a-side "People Save the World" is a propulsive, socially-conscious, exercise in primitive funk rock. The b-side shares its title with the band's name and is a breezy, easy-going instrumental, weirdly at odds with its name. These songs have sat in the can for over 40 years and were all-but-forgotten until the band that RockFire later morphed into, Death, became a cause-celebre in the punk community as early progenitors of the style with the 2009 release (comprised of recordings made in 1974) ...For the Whole World to See. In conjunction with the release of the stellar A Band Called Death documentary film Third Man is finally unleashing these songs on the funk-thirsty public. The Hackney Brothers David, Dannis and Bobby are finally getting their due.
The Underwear Heads were long-rumored to have been a made-up band. Evidence of their existence over the past 30 plus years had been reliant upon a picture sleeve for a single that never came with a record. Due to the copycat nature of punk collectors' want lists, the legend of the U-Heads extended far-and-wide as "the sleeve without a record." Truth of the matter is that vinyl was pressed for the release, but due to a manufacturing error all copies were defective and were unceremoniously sent to the garbage dump while some sleeves managed to slip out into the wild. Third Man was able to track down band member John Crenshaw (brother of esteemed Michigan-born songwriter Marshall Crenshaw) who instantly claimed he'd not heard someone utter the band's name since 1983. Bandmates Nick Canterucci, Gary Lyshak and Bruno Borroni were conferenced in, an early-generation master was located in Australia and the world is finally privileged to hear the Tangmania EP. The six-songs on this self-recorded 7" run the gamut from silly drum machine punk, outre experimental tape manipulation and art rock spaciousness.
RockFire Funk Express "People Save the World" b/w "RockFire Funk Express" Recorded at United Sound Systems, Detroit, 1973 David Hackney - guitars / Dannis Hackney - drums / Bobby Hackney - bass & vocals
Check out the trailer for A Band Called Death:
The Underwear Heads Tangmania EP
Side One: Tangin' / Do the Fly Die / Sex with Fish Side Two: Wild Louie / Calling Andromeda / Operator
Recorded at Rock 'n' Roll HDQS Fall 1980 Bruno Boroni - guitar, vocals / Gary Lyshak - guitars, vocals, organ / John Crenshaw - guitar, drums, vocals / Nick Canterucci - bass, guitar, vocals