Album Review: PURE HELL

Noise Addiction (CHERRY RED)

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Long-lost black US punk band album and DVD.

Pure Hell were an African-American quartet from Philadelphia who took their cues from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The MC5. They shifted to New York in the mid-70s, being welcomed into the New York Dolls’ orbit, and put on, by all accounts, a phenomenal live show.

Perhaps unsurprisingly – seeing as they predate Bad Brains and Living Colour – no US record label gave them a deal so their manager (the notorious Curtis Knight) brought them to London. They released one single and cut an album. But a falling out with Knight saw him flee to NYC with the tapes. His death has finally seen the album issued: raw garage rock with hints of Hendrix, the Ramones and punk blues. The DVD of the band performing in the studio demonstrates how exciting they must have been live.