The Dead C

World Peace Hope Et Al

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Having had a varied and peripatetic enough recording career to well warrant it, Dead C put out this collection of odds and sods from throughout its career via a British label in 1994. Ranging from everything from early cassette-only numbers to a couple of wholly new cuts, World Peace Hope, named after three of the album's cuts, is a useful and often striking enough example of Dead C's curious, compelling art. Short, fragmentary numbers and extended jams are the basic rule of the day, with a few otherwise finding a middle ground here and there. Those who find Harsh 70s Reality the band's high point will jump for the two outtakes featured here, each easily strong enough to have been on that album. Opening number "Stars" features simple but effective drumming from Yeats mixed with a queasy organ sound and, naturally, the trio's trademark guitar squall, resulting in a surprisingly emotional, melancholy effort. As is often the case, the most striking results combine relative user friendliness with the intentionally muddy, non-crisp recording and delivery, as songs like the strong "Fire" demonstrate. Then there's the trio's considerable live power, as the steady thrash and sprawl through "Helen," taken from the Xpressway Vision video, shows. A variety of guest performers and assistants crop up throughout -- New Zealand music legend Peter Jefferies is on two tracks, admittedly only as engineer. An interesting meeting of the minds occurs on the brief "Abscheid," a track recorded for Bananafish magazine -- Alistair Galbraith contributes his recognizable violin work, while a sample from an unknown Nico/John Cale piece, heavily distorted and treated, loops through the song. Another track similarly features Patti Smith used to similarly unexpected ends.

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