I bought Suicide's first album when I was in 9th grade. Being that the town I grew up in is always way behind the times the record has been out for over half a decade but I was going through some kinda rockabilly phase at the time and remember seeing the word with "esque" tagged at the end of it used in a magazine (probably Trouser Press but it might have been Creem) to describe Alan Vega's voice. I believe it was same article where they were credited as forerunners to the synth-pop movement that was going on. I was also into Fad Gadget and Human League ("Travelogue" mind you-"Dare" wouldn't come out til later a year later I believe) then so between the two I figured that it would be right up my alley. Of course when I went to the record store the (which I didn't realize at the time but quickly learned) sarcastic music geek clerk told me when I asked if what I read was close to what they sounded like and he said "Oh, Exactly". I made the purchase, hopped the bus and anticipated what I'd be hearing when I got home in about half an hour.
"Ghostrider" starts with it's ominous gurgles and buzzing sounds. Completely bewildered by what was going on. Then the vocals start. "Is this guy normal" I wonder with his yelps all echoed out. It really freaked me out. With the quickly developing technology at the time it was completely primeval to most people and especially a 14 year old. It was (and still is) cold, seedy and uncomfortable. That Monday at school I was talking to some classmates who were into more "extreme" stuff than I was (keep in mind that Port Huron once held the distinction of selling the most Throbbing Gristle related product in any region of the United States) about how it had creeped me out.
"Rock and Roll is over! Guitars are dead." is what they told me than made snide comments about how I wasn't "underground enough to get it."
"Yeah. Well fuck you. Like anyone in this backwater is truly underground. It just freaked me out."
$2.00 Out The Door kinda remind me of Suicide. No six strings but no old electronics either. Drums cracking loud, a bass with all the gain turn wide open and a yelping & welping voice bathed in echo. It ain't no New York city sleaze either but one that is plunked right down in one of the most degenerate parts of San Francisco. Ragged gutter spirits rise at night just to crawl through the mud and blood in search of kicks that might end up killing them again. Suicide always seemed like a soundtrack tape for such a thing. $2.00 Out the Door the type of thing that belongs on the other side of that cassette.