Spin - 5/01, p.112Ranked #38
in Spin's "50 Most Essential Punk Records" - "...Laced with acrid shots of synth-slime, uncontrollable urge overkill, and riff after killer riff."
Spin - p.104
"[A] satirical piss-off manifesto using spastic synthesizers and guitars to crank out the greatest anthems..."
CMJ - 1/5/04, p.6Ranked #18
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1979".
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/03, p.76Ranked #38
in Mojo's "Top 50 Punk Albums" - "...Devo's debut bridged between Krautrock at its most potent and punk's nihilistic spirit..."
Devo's 1978 debut is an absolute new wave/alternative classic. Produced by Brian Eno, the album serves as a great introduction to the band's quirky and highly original sound-- stiff grooves, robotic rhythms, and humorously intellectual lyrics abound. Although Devo is considered a joke band by some, co-leaders Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale are exceptional songwriters, capable of creating unpredictable song structures and contagious melodies (Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Robert Palmer have all covered Devo compositions). That said, ARE WE NOT MEN is one the band's best and most consistent records.
Kicking things off with the concert favorite "Uncontrollable Urge," Devo instantly transports the listener into its warped world, where potatoes (or "spuds") are considered sacred, mutants run rampant, and mankind is constantly regressing, or "devolving"--hence the band's name. More intriguing oddities follow, such as a totally reconstructed version of the Rolling Stones classic "Satisfaction" (its imaginatively funny video was an MTV favorite in the network's early days), as well as such fan favorites as "Mongoloid," "Jocko Homo," "Gut Feeling," "Come Back Jonee," and the creepy "Shrivel Up." A truly great album that certainly hasn't lost it's edge over the years.