RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDOIDS – “Blank Generation” (Sire Records) September 1977
Richard Hell & the Voidoids “Blank Generation” – Remember an early Stiff single by this guy called ‘Another World’? Yeah . . . . it was pretty good, at the time of release Hell seemed to be quite an impressive character on the scene.
Then we heard talk of Tom Verlaine’s disagreements with him in Television and after that another release. This time a cut on the ‘New Wave’ album ‘Love Comes In Spurts’, which in comparison seemed weaker.
This album is the last in the trilogy and sadly follows suit. It is definitely poor in contrast with the early single. Hell has obviously been writing this kind of material for a few years and it is a shame that he could not find stronger songs to put on his first solo attempt.
The two cuts ‘Blank Generation’ and ‘Another World’ are featured, but unfortunately, even those cannot drag this album out of it’s insipidness.
Backed by his Voidoids (Robert Quine, Ivan Julian and Marc Bell) the sound is flat, flawed and basically uninspiring. It’s surprising to find the production is handled by Richard Gottehrer too, because he has worked wonders on some artists’ albums (notably Blondie, Dirty Angels and Robert Gorden).
I’m sorry to criticize an album which people have waited for but if Hell can only write thin songs like ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Club’ then I think I’m justified.
(Record Mirror, 08/10/77)