Last month, Sacred Bones announced the release of a long-lost solo album from the late Suicide singer Alan Vega. The record, titled Mutator, is due out next month, and today the label is releasing its second single, “Fist”.
Similar to album’s initial preview, “Nike Soldier”, this cut is five minutes of grim yet playful post-punk from one of the best to ever do it. The song has a sleek and rubbery industrial groove that Vega chants “fist” over with the domineering emphasis of a comic book villain. It’s the type of song that’s equally perfect for a wild night at a steamy club or with the lights low in the comfort of your own home. Take a listen below.
Vega, who died in 2016, sadly isn’t here to comment on the specific intentions of this song, but a couple of his close collaborators were able to offer some additional context. His close friend Jared Artaud, who helped mix and produce Mutator, spoke about the many moods that Vega was able to capture with this track.
“‘Fist’ reveals the album’s archetypal sonic framework of balancing intensity with calm,” he said in a press release. “Music you can meditate to or blast during a protest march. Vega was a champion of the underdog. His lyrics inspire strength for the individual to rise up and destroy those destroying us. ‘Fist’ sets Mutator into motion with Vega’s ‘no notes’ mantra and blistering poetic truths that balance a dark vision with hope.”
Vega’s widow and collaborator Liz Lamere also commented on the song’s stirring character. “‘Fist’’s relentless forward movement of the music coupled with Vega’s battle cry lyrics makes it a powerful call for action to the people to muster their power, come together and Make One Nation,” she said. “The message is timely, the impact timeless.”
Vega and Lamere recorded the eight songs on Mutator between 1996 and 1998 in New York City, but the project was MIA for nearly two decades before Lamere and Artaud unearthed it in 2019. It’s finally seeing the light of day as a collaboration between Sacred Bones and the “Vega Vault”, and it’s officially out on April 23rd. Pre-orders are ongoing.