The Dead C

Trapdoor Fucking Exit

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A slightly confused discography entry for this one, at least partially recorded live, as there's the original Trapdoor Fucking Exit cassette on Precious Metal, the separate Helen Said This LP on Siltbreeze, and the follow-up Siltbreeze CD containing both albums under the name of the original. Said CD version is the one to search out, given that it does have everything; while arguing for a definitive Dead C album is almost as impossible a task as selecting one by, say, Muslimgauze, this disc is a high candidate. With guest help on a number of tracks from guitarist Chris Heazlewood, the trio does what it does best once again, exploring the combination of rough avant-garde sonics with sometimes surprising accessibility. Morley assumes vocal duties throughout, his spoken/sung/slightly declaimed vocals often astonishingly gripping, given an interesting clarity -- check out "Hell Is Now Love," as the lyrics slice through the fuzzed chaos, as just one example. Things are definitely murky on Trapdoor, and while that's the case with just about any Dead C release one could name, there's something even more mixed down and subliminal here: things that sound like -- but might not be -- random TV interview snippets on the first version of "Bury," or, throughout the CD, the general aura of sonics that sound like radio signals distorted and trampled through the mud. The second take on "Bury," subtitled "Refutatio Omnium Haeresium" (which alone pretty well shows that Bruce Russell is part of the band), is the disc's understandable centerpiece. Fifteen minutes long, with slowed/distorted vocals everywhere and a wonderful sense of looming, mysterious contemplation in the flow of dank guitar noise up and down over Robbie Yeats' distant drumming, it's a fantastic effort. An interesting coda concludes the disc -- acoustic versions (!) of three tunes, "Power," "Bone," and "Mighty."

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