The Dead C – The White House (Siltbreeze) 1995


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Thursday was a great day. Not only did Tusk, Trapdoor Fucking Exit and the White House appear in my PO Box but so did DR503C. And then to top it all off I won Eusa Kills during a late night ebay session. Now I’ve never denied that I was an obsessive little fucker but you can’t fuck about with these sorts of things because the bastard record companies will delete them and … well, where are you going to hear them then.

I had these grand plans to write an essay on the development of the Dead c over the last 20 years and then I thought “how fucking arrogant is that” so each will be taken on their merits as soon as I have had a chance to digest them.

The first one I’ve managed to get through is The White House. This is a classic (and might i add readily available) example of how confusing the Dead C get. There are six tracks of this and none of them are super-stupid long if you know what I mean. The first two are the whole experimental, improv sound thing. We start off with Voodoospell an electronic avant garde psychedelic noise piece. The New Snow is an improv, free form guitar track with some nice droney elements. Both tracks are great and completely different from each other. Your Hand is the third track and somehow we have moved from experimental noise to a vaguely Sebadoh-ish moment. It’s fucking great and I’m sure that in a distant universe it is a college radio hit. Track 4 is a noise interlude which adds nothing before the immense greatness of Bitcher appears. A whole album of this and they would have been one of the biggest alt-rock bands of the 1990’s. Bitcher is a great big RAWK song. A really badly produced rock song but its in there, under the fuzz, perfectly formed. The final track is just as good. Outside is where I get the Pavement comparisons from. Its like a 17 minute lo-fi rock jam that slowly de-constructs itself into a much more drone-based experimental affair. With four minutes to go we’re in Mouthus territory. Its an extraodinary end to a great record. I don’t think it reconciles the tuneless experimental opening tracks with the great lo-fi rock tracks that come after them but does it really fucking matter? I feel like I should be saying “if you’re looking for a place to start with the Dead C this should be it” but I’ve got four more records to go and I’m in no position to be that helpful just yet. What I can say is that if this is supposed to be a noise record then its the most pop-like noise record I’ve heard yet.

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