The Dead C – Secret Earth (Badabing) 2008


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After Merzbow, The Dead C are the most posted on band on this blog. The reason of course is that I just can’t get enough of their take on experimental, kitchen sink, alt-rock. Everything they do is disgustingly lo-fi and I’m glad to say that Secret Earth keeps up the tradition. Although my admiration of, and bias towrads The Dead C has been revealed  by this blog, the truth is that, like Merzbow I really have to be in the mood to listen to them. This may have been the reason it took me so long to post on Trapdoor Fucking Exit. It your not in the mood and your ear is not tuned in, the Dead C can be a slog. This may account for the reason that their last record Future Artists got such bad reviews. I thought it was pretty good and with some of the reviews I wondered whether they were listening to the  same record I did. Secret Earth follows on from Future Artists in that there are very few tracks, no information in the CD booklet and each of the tracks is mini-epic of The Dead C at the height of their powers. Secret Earth is more song orientated than  Future Artists and If you have done the right thing and bought the essential Vain, Erudite and Stupid think more Bitcher than Voodoo for instance.

What Secret Earth finds The Dead C doing, is returning in some ways to their Sonic Youth inspired roots. If you’re any doubt listen to the first couple of minutes of the opening track Mansions. At one point I thought maybe Thurston Moore was guesting. Mansions is the shortest thing on here at just on seven minutes. From there things get noiseier yet more mellow on Stations. Fifteen minutes of The Dead C doing their whole improv-rock thing over layers of no-fi feedback. Its great stuff. The third track Plains is my favourite it begins with a groove which underneath the fuzz, sounds a bit like Ciccone Youth’s dubby masterpiece Macbeth. It doesn’t last for long before the vocals to drastically alter the effect but it locks in a groove before sitting off towards noise-drone territory. The final track has the Dead C returning to tensely melancholy vibe, in fact it could be The Dead C’s first ballad. 

All in all, Secret Earth has the Dead C resisting the temptation to make their music more obtuse but it would also be a lie to say that they are becoming more accessible either. All of their records have amazing rock songs buried underneath the Dead C’s fuzzy, poorly recorded veneer. Secret Earth just happens to have four of them. If you’re new to The Dead C, this along with Vain, Erudite and Stupid are not bad places to start.

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One Response to “The Dead C – Secret Earth (Badabing) 2008”

  1. […] anomaly amongst their recordings, but the Dead C isn’t known for its vocal efforts. And here on Secret Earth, listeners get a piece of Morley’s vocals on all four […]

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