These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Before they signed with Warner Bros. Records and had a hit with "Whip It" in the U.S., several of their independent singles charted in the U.K. and they were a highly anticipated band in Europe and Australia.
There was a big following in Japan too, the most notable result of which was the inspiration of Polysics.
Harsher in Hindsight: Their very name and idea becomes harsher in hindsight a lot. The name stands for "de-evolution" and the idea that we've evolved to out max and now we're going to de-evolve into monkeys. While we might not de-evolve, scientists have said we're pretty much not going to get any smarter than we are now. See, this video for an explanation given by an expert.
Nightmare Fuel: The two Hardcore Devo compilations are demos from 1974 to 1977, and they are some seriously creepy sounding stuff ("U Got Me Bugged" in particular is little more than a loop of high-frequency noise).
The robotic voice on "Mechanical Man" is just a little bit terrifying. Then you add the discordant music.
Me feel swell. Me work well. Me want what you got.
The "Beautiful World" video. Plenty of music videos include mushroom clouds for shock effect, but something about the imagery of a crying, starving child and a '50s cartoon clip about a man suffering from radiation poisoning (from a Public Service Announcement about fallout) is singularly unnerving.
Older Than They Think: Many of the band's songs were written and demoed before they were signed to a record label.
Also, the intro video they used on their 1981 New Traditionalists tour features someone wearing a jacket saying "Don't Shoot, I'm A Man" on it, which much later became the title of a song on their album Something For Everybody.
Seasonal Rot: The band's transition into quirky synth-pop that worked so well on Freedom Of Choice wound up becoming increasingly generic and straightforward within a few years, culminating with 1984's Shout that was a critical and commercial failure. The failed comeback album, Total Devo only made things worse, and the band, needless to say, don't play anything from those albums anymore (nor anything from the mostly ignored Smooth Noodle Maps).
So Bad, It's Good: The only reason Devo agreed to the Dev2.0 concept in the first place was because of how ridiculous it was.
Jerry Casale: You went beyond getting mad to just like going, 'This is proof of devolution. This is it.' We thought it was really funny."
The band has fallen back on the "proof of de-evolution" line of reasoning more than once, particularly in reference to the Seasonal Rot mentioned above. They ultimately mused that even Devo is not immune to the effects of de-evolution - decay was inevitable, according to their genetic imperative - and life marched on.