Sacred Bones has just released a new single, “Fist,” from Alan Vega’s “lost” album, Mutator, which will be released on April 23. The album had been recorded with Liz Lamere, Vega’s partner and collaborator, during the mid-’90s.
“‘Fist’’s relentless forward movement of the music coupled with Vega’s battle cry lyrics makes it a powerful call for action to the people to muster their power, come together and Make One Nation,” Liz Lamere said in a press statement. “The message is timely, the impact timeless.”
“Fist” begins with whining industrial synths as Vega’s deep vocals hum and moan. “Crucify for blood,” he says, his growls carrying a soft anger. The instrumentals loop around, creating a steady marching tone as Vega calls for destruction. His voice mumbles over the lyrics, slurring over the whining synths and humming tones. “Fists,” he repeats during portions of the track, breaking into a moan.
“Alan Vega was an architect of sound,” Vega’s friend, Jaed Artaud, who had helped to mix and produce the upcoming album, said in a press statement. “‘Fist’ reveals the album’s archetypal sonic framework of balancing intensity and calm. Music you can meditate to or blast during a protest march. Vega was a champion of the underdog. His lyrics inspire strength for the individual to rise up and destroy those destroying us. ‘Fest’ sets Mutator into motion with Vega’s ‘no notes’ mantra and blistering poetic truths that balance a dark vision with hope.
The album was largely inspired by the sounds from the streets of New York, Vega recording the industrial ambiance. He hadn’t initially meant to shelve the album, however he wound up making his next record before Mutator had been finished, and never returned to the project.
Mutator had been announced last month, with Lamere and Artaud sharing the single “Nike Soldier.” Vega had passed in 2016 at the age of 78, the performer passing in his sleep. While accomplished as a solo artist, Vega had also been a member of the band Suicide, which had remained intermittently active from 1970 until Vega’s death. The band had been one of the first acts to use the phrase “punk music,” adn they had acted as the blue print for post-punk, synth pop and industrial rock. Prior to his passing, Vega had re-released the 1996 album Cubist Blues alongside Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn.