The Dead C

Vain, Erudite and Stupid: Selected Works 1987-2005

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This double-disc set is a near-flawless introduction to New Zealand-based noise rockers the Dead C. Collecting key tracks from the band's many (now obscure) releases over the years, the set is as much a journey through the deep undergound of '90s indie rock as it is a look at the Dead C's evolution as noise merchants. With releases on such legendary imprints as Flying Nun, Xpressway, Forced Exposure, and of course the mighty Siltbreeze, the Dead C were bonafide undergound heros.

Of course, they would be nothing if not for the music. Early tracks such as "Max Harris," "Hell is Now," "and "Constellation" come across like extremeley lo-fi, less disciplined takes on SISTER-era Sonic Youth, and while that may sound less than desirable, it is in fact close to heavenly. The later cuts featured on disc two find the Dead C in a no less adventurous mode but utilizing a more cerebral, studied approach to improvisational noisemaking, as on the precision drone of "Voodoo Spell" from 1995's WHITE HOUSE LP. The band's vast catalog is worth investigating in its entirety, but VAIN ERUDITE AND STUPID is an ideal starting point for learning about the Dead C's celestial clang.

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