Pure Hell was a first-generation US punk band formed in Philadelphia in 1974 and active in New York City from 1974 to 1978. Contemporaries of the New York Dolls, their incendiary sound was inspired by The Stooges and the MC5. They were also the first-ever all black punk band. This set includes a 30 minute live in the studio DVD filmed for a New York cable TV station in 1978 that includes two non album tracks.
The fact that I have been a punk fan for so many years and never heard about these guys is a real tragedy because this would have been a big deal back then. They only managed one single while together, the Nancy Sinatra song “These Boots Are Made For Walking” backed with “No Rules.” These two songs are included on here and “No Rules” actually rules with its amazing guitar playing and the catchy chorus. The songs are played fast, tight and with power to spare, with great vocals from Kenny Gordon who also played rhythm guitar. The rest of the band is no slouches though, they are fantastic and give their all on every track and squeeze emotion out of every note played. The rest of the band was Preston Morris III (lead guitars), Kerry Boles (bass guitars), and Michael Sanders (percussion). Curtis Knight their manager was an R’n’B singer from the Squires, who also featured a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar. He fell out with the band and refused to release the album and until his death, the tapes were lost to time, but they finally surfaced and after 27 years, the album was finally released. The sound is amazing on the studio tracks, and the DVD is rough, but a great memento of them live.
You can’t go wrong with this collection, an album that is both historic and just blindingly great from start to finish. This band has been a very small footnote in the history of punk, but they deserve a place higher and this album should help fix that. Grab some lost classics and play it fucking loud!