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Figures of Light – Drop Dead


For most bands, tackling that ‘difficult’ second album can be a daunting experience; the expectation, the pressure to top their debut, and the need to break new ground can all conspire to form a perilous trap for the unwary and the uninitiated. Most bands, however, don’t record their second album 41 years after forming.

Figures of Light, a ghost legion of the proto-punk army who fought almost single-handedly around New York and New Jersey during the early 1970s, have returned to the studio, however, and recorded a new album, following on from their 2007 ‘debut’ Smash Hits. That album, which collated vintage material from as far back as 1970 alongside recordings made that year, was a first step in placing the band back into their proper historical context, elevating them into their proper place as a lost link between the 1960s

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Figures of Light (live at The Bell House)

Norton Records 25th Anniversary All Star Spectacular, The Bell House, New York 11-13 November 2011

New York punk, we all know the story, right? It starts in the late Sixties when The Velvet Underground redefine popular music by deciding not to take the A Train, instead heading up to Lexington 125 in search of some serious narcotics and a life on the wild side; it continues in 1973 when the New York Dolls finish posing on the cold sidewalk outside the Gem Spa and start to mix androgynous clothing and trashy, thrashy guitar riffs, thus helping to lay down a major part of the blueprint for what will follow over the course of the coming five years; and it finally reaches critical mass at Hilly Kristal’s gaff at 315 Bowery when the Uplifting Gormandizers descend en masse to get involved in the

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