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Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (34 ratings)
78 album cover
11,000 Volts
Helen Forsdale
Puerto Rican Ghost
Immediate Stages of the Erotic
Outside Africa
N.N. End
Album Information

Total Tracks: 14   Total Length: 40:26

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Heroin music?


What was really scary about this music back in the day - and I was there - was just how dark it was. As the review above says, this was a pungent darkness, but that doesn't highlight just how far this music went. This was music for junkies, for heroin addicts. It wasn't rebellious music, it was tunes by people who couldn't hold a tune. Like the other tracks on No New York (I wish I still had my copy, so I could sell it on eBay), the darkness this music presents is one of no return, similar to that of bands like Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, who were the British version of the same zeitgeist. Many of these bands probably aspired to be the next Velvet Underground, but they ended up being nothing more than footnotes, and they deserve no better.

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Horrible scree


Trebly, screechy, relentless, sounds like a runaway train with its brakes locked and its passengers screaming. But you probably knew that already. Mars was the hardest-rocking of the No Wave bands of the late 70s (at least of the ones that recorded), and this record kicks out the jams hard. There's nothing that sounds remotely like this anywhere in the music catalogue. (But no "Hairwaves" in the U.S.? Damn!!!!)

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The Real Reason to Get This Album...


... is 3-E. While the rest of the album is no less interesting, 3-E easily captures Mars' experimentalism without losing any aesthetic appeal. It's amazing. The previous reviewer is so brilliant. If you like this, you will also like The Ascension, by Glenn Branca, and if you don't already own it, get it.

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Goin' out on top


Let's stop the petty arguing about whether or not your little brother's favorite group is "punk" or not and just agree that "punk" means a style of rock that emphasized faster simple chord progressions derived from garage and surf rock, looser production and less need for skilled instrumentation, held disdain for the rock orthodoxy and existed from 1976-'78. OK? Good. "3-E" by Mars is about as good as punk could ever get. It's so good, it's almost as if this group solved the punk rock equation and ended the genre with that song.

eMusic Features


Say Yes to No

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Around 1978, a handful of bands in downtown New York City who all knew each other tried to answer the central question of post-punk: "why does rock music have to sound a certain way?" The groups that came to be identified as the "no wave" scene rejected every kind of orthodoxy of pop music, from tunefulness to conventional instrumental skill - what the Ramones and other punk bands were doing, by contrast, was practically bourgeois… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Originally released in the mid-’80s, and then slightly expanded for its late-’90′s resurfacing on Atavistic (thus the “+”), 78+ puts together pretty much everything the band did in the late ’70s in one form or another. Then again, there’s a bit of after-the-fact tweaking, in that J.G. Thirlwell (aka Foetus) did a fair amount of remixing of the tracks, so until a straightforward version of “No New York” resurfaces properly, this will have to do. For all the complaints at the time of the band’s supposed unmusicality, the original 7″ single that kicks things off, “3-E/11,000 Volts” is actually pretty dang catchy, the former practically inventing bass-led post-punk without trying, while Sumner Crane’s nervous vocals slip between the shuddering, deeply strange percussion. That said, there’s plenty in the overall clamor and discordant nature of the band’s songs that pretty clearly show where any number of bands, not least Sonic Youth, picked up on what the group was doing and then ran with it as desired. The “No New York” tracks themselves are certainly more in the way of textured and strange noise — Brian Eno was clearly having a great time being a new kind of studio-based producer, at the least, with the metallic wash and murky mix really finding a missing link between the Velvet Underground and the Jesus and Mary Chain’s early industrial strength abuse. On the best number, Crane’s snaky bass holds down the center of “Helen Forsdale,” while China Burg’s lead vocals take a nervous, post-Yoko Ono approach. The live tracks are comparatively clearer in comparison, though the band does their best to capture that sense of compressed, dank chaos just as well on stage as in studio — the extreme drift and float of “Hairwaves” is particularly haunting. As for the new extras that conclude the reissue, “Scorn” is a quick, clanking, overdriven-treble rant of sorts (not a bad thing, really!), while “N. N. End” is pure bass-stab feedback-howl freakout in excelsis. – Ned Raggett

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