Armed Courage is the first The Dead C record since the release of Patience in 2010. Although both Michael Morley through his Gate project, and Bruce Russell with what seems like a million collaborations, have been keeping busy, it’s taken a whole three years for them to get together and make a new Dead C record. Has it been worth the wait? Abso-fucking-lutely.
I ve been listening to this record for the past few weeks whilst I have been in quarantine because of a nasty virus I picked up off one of my kids. My cabin fever allowed me to spend a good period of time going back through the band’s releases since their re-emergence with the amazing Vain Erudite and Stupid compilation in 2006. Armed Courage is more closely aligned with Secret Earth and Patience rather then the more difficult Future Artists.
Armed Courage contains two twenty minute long tracks. The first one Armed is a mesmerising instrumental swirl of droning rock guitar and primitive Sonic Youth avant noodling. Robbie Yeats drums dive in and fade out of the track at regular intervals. It may be my favourite Dead C track since Bitcher from 1995’s The White House. The second track Courage starts out very differently with a quiet menacing ambiance overlaid with Michael Morley’s vocals which sound like a brain injured every-dude overdosed on codeine before the driving, rocked-out drone, kicks in. It is great and has moments which actually outstrip Armed.
Armed Courage is a cracking record and it may also be the best recorded album they’ve released to date. If you have never heard the band before then this is a great place to start. These guys may just be getting better and better.