Pure Hell: Noise Addiction

Unearthed gem from the early days of US punk.

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The first (and, really, one of maybe three or four ever in history) all-black punk band, Pure Hell formed in Philadelphia in the mid-70s, cited The Stooges and MC5 as inspirations way before it was cool, looked awesome in their punk ‘do’s and leather jackets, and sounded like the Dead Boys.

So why haven’t we heard of them? For one thing, they only ever released one single during their initial run, and it was a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walkin’. They were also ‘managed’ by Curtis Knight, the same sad-sack opportunist who bungled having Jimi Hendrix in his band a decade before.

So it’s not surprising Pure Hell never got the attention they deserved. This eye-popping and ear-battering collection of unreleased studio sessions from the late 70s lets us in on what we missed, and it’s a full-on belter, full of snotty street-rockers flecked with wall-melting acid-rock guitars.