Essential New Music: The Dead C’s “Trouble”


The Dead C has maintained the same personnel—Bruce Russell, Michael Morley and Robbie Yeats playing guitars, drums, synths—and maintained the same truculent relationship to various status quos (vs. the music business, vs. the prevailing culture of their native New Zealand, vs. any expectation that what they did last will determine what they do next) for nearly 30 years.

Trouble is their first double-LP since early-’90s pinnacle Harsh 70s Reality, but they make no effort to assert any greater significance to this than to anything else they’ve done. Instead they plunge once more into a spontaneously generated maelstrom of corroded noise and spasmodic rock action, letting the music flow like lava oozing destructively through the streets of your town. Feedback stymies, electronics corrode, and breakneck drumbeats pop up where the music has the least room and most need for them. Yep, this is Trouble.

—Bill Meyer