• AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Though Dez Cadena will probably always be best known as an early member of Black Flag, his work with DC3 explored much more interesting musical territory. The band's final album, Vida, has a wide-ranging and fanciful character, touching on blues, Hawkwind space rock covers, jazz, even a quirky hard rock interpretation of an obscure Groucho Marx song. Granted, the lyrics on the latter are nearly unintelligible, but still it's a step that would have never occurred to most musicians who were raised on the punk ethos. The band sounds much better on John Lee Hooker's "Bang Bang, Bang Bang," which is also well outside the envelope. This is not to say that the bandmembers run from their punk past, as the great version of "Thirsty and Miserable" attests. Still, they were obviously aspiring to more, and many cuts here head toward an intriguing fusion of punk and progressive rock that is energetic but nuanced. The band was much more than just a vehicle for Cadena, as the splendid musical interplay and strong keyboard work make it clear that this was a partnership. Cadena's vocals are strong and steady through most the album, Paul Roessler's rather less so, but Vida is still very good and consistent for a collection of live recordings. As a last look at a band composed not merely of excellent musicians, but of artists with good ideas and the skill to execute them, Vida is a winner.

blue highlight denotes track pick