HEART ATTACK – ” God Is Dead “

Posted: October 23, 2021 in MUSIC
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Back when Jesse Malin was only 12, he formed one of the first-ever New York hardcore bands, Heart Attack, and in 1981 they put out their debut 7″, “God Is Dead“, on the Damaged Goods fanzine label. The band was short-lived but they left an impact, and the long-out-of-print “God Is Dead” had been bootlegged for years. Now, it’s getting its first-ever official reissue, via Malin and Don DiLego’s Velvet Elk label. We’ve teamed up with Malin on an exclusive white vinyl variant, limited to just 250 copies and available exclusively in our stores. 

“The “God Is Dead” EP is the first record I ever put out,” Jesse tells us. “We were a trio and failed the auditions at CBGB We were too late. They told us ‘all that punk rock was over,’ and that we should try something new, like rockabilly or new romantic. I wasn’t going to dress up like a pirate. I started to walk further east and saw fliers on the street posts, for bands like The Stimulators and Bad Brains and the False Prophets. I started to get this idea that there was something else out there.”

“We got inspired by seeing the Bad Brains. Everything got faster. Our guitarist Jack Flannigan started listening to Ramones records on the faster speed. He then went on to form The Mob, the fastest band on the scene. We wanted something that spoke to us during our time. It was our generation. It was the early days of hardcore.”

“We started to check out clubs on Avenue A, which was a scary, blown-out neighborhood. Somehow, without cell phones and the internet, we all found each other on an East Village corner. We came from all boroughs in the New York area and the tri-state. Tours were booked on stolen credit cards that you bought in Times Square. You bought a used van, built a loft in the back, and went across the country.”

“I’ll never forget the summer of ’81 when we first heard this record on the radio,” Jesse continues. “I’m really happy to see this EP get a re-release 40 years later. I’m very grateful to still be making music. As much as the world changes, some things remain the same—waiting for the van to come, writing a set list, getting the jitters before you go on, putting your boots on tight, and playing every show like you have a gun at your back.”

If you’ve never heard “God Is Dead“, it’s a great and perhaps slightly-underrated example of early hardcore, and it still rips today. 

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