The Dead C – Tusk (Siltbreeze) 1997


Holy Crap! This is great. Again we see two sides of the band. The experimental improv composer versus the avant garde indie rock gods. The whole things kicks off with one of the most “out there” tracks the Dead C have done. Plane is seven minutes of kitchen sink percussive loops before mutating into an improv jam session on codeine. The recording sounds hollow. Kind of like someone grabbed a micro cassette recorder half way through and thought, “Hey someone should really record this.” I’ll be honest, it’s not my favourite thing the Dead C have ever done. I find it ever so mildly pointless and if this record was full of Plane like tracks I might have just not bothered. But my initial disappointment is obliterated when the next track begins. Head starts as a humongous guitars on acid freakout track before morphing into a dark Sonic Youth-esque indie rock type thing.

When I really thing about it, it is this metamorphosis or evolution of the Dead C’s music which pushes all my buttons. The final track on the White House was extraordinary. A track that built and, developed and evolved. Tusk is chock full of the same thing. Head, Imaginary and the title track are all fucking wonderful examples of just how good the Dead C are in full flight. The title track is an absolute ripper. But unlike Head, Tusk actually starts as a rock track before descended into primordial feedback and electronics. It’s basically a track that devolves rather than evolves.

The thing that I can’t fugure out is why a band that produced music as good as this flew under the radar for so many years.


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