GANG ATELIER

Destroy All Monsters Magazine 1976-1979

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Softcover, 270mm x 209mm
270 pages, perfect-bound
Black & white and colour illustrations
ISBN: 9780978869786
Published by Primary Information

From 1973-79 the once-thriving Michigan music scene-home to the mind-expanding likes of the MC5, the Stooges, Alice Cooper and The Amboy Dukes—was in tatters. Bankrupted by the silent majority's conservative victory over the grand social experiment of the psychedelic era, all that seemed to remain was the suburban dribble of soft rock and the bogus working class drag of arena rock—the soundtrack of pure affect on sale at your local corporate retailer. Until the region's fertile hardcore punk scenes picked up in the early 80s, the only freaks still around to wave their flag were Ann Arbor's Destroy All Monsters. Inveterate noise mongers inspired by the anti-musical innovations of Luigi Russoli, LaMonte Young and John Cage and the outré theater of Antonin Artaud, Jack Smith and the Viennese Actionists as they were by acid rock's walls of mind-altering feedback, this band is also most notable for being the launching pad for such artist/musicians such as Carey Loren, Niagra (née Lynn Rovner), Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw.

In supplement to their punk-like musicality, these then-art school students and dropouts embraced the arcane hallucinations of consumer culture's trashier mores-comic books, b-movies, sci-fi and fantasy novels- as the visual accompaniment to their sonic shock'n'awe, eventually leading to the band's eponymous self-published magazine made between 1976 and 1979. Collecting all of these issues-including what remains of the 'lost' seventh-into one comprehensive book, this new publication tacitly illustrates the bad trip aesthetic cultivated by this musical group who were "too young to be hippie, too old to be punk." In turns both crude and decorous, these magazines reveal a crucial threading point between the lysergic visions of psychedelic era, the consumer affect of Pop art and the aestheticised trash of the nascent punk and industrial subcultures, setting a precedent for a noisy, confrontational art that one can still find haunting the former warehouses of American industry.

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