The Dead C, just about, make “free rock” palatable. Just as a term, it BELCHES a fucking spa-day for the male ego, self-indulgence that so often lacks a sense of expression - a chance to flex how far up ones own arse one could possibly be - or even just how irritating the two words are together - y’know - FREEDOM, to rock!!!!
Obviously there are plenty o class acts that fall into this somewhat unfortunate bracket but if there was JUST ONE to make you not want to to strip down and seat-drop onto a floor of broken glass it would undoubtedly be THE DEAD C.
If what they have been up to for the last 30 or so years is even in parts “free-rock” then they have been doing it FOR REAL - unlearning their instruments, employing structures and elements that owe nothing to tradition - running bollock naked over open planes of NZ, developing their inimitable style that is to be determined by no other.
Rare Ravers, pasted together in three entirely instrumental tracks, all sporting hollowed-out, enchanting burial rhythms thudding dully under an incessant, swarm of guitar interplay, clad head to toe in anaemic distortion that sounds as if it were generated from a chorus of broken, cast away household appliances all joyously celebrating their reprieve from the daily slog. The whole damn thing is an acutely choreographed dance of wandering, liberated garage sonics to behold - bellowing and shrieking journey music that sounds like nothing of this world, “Staver” - like the skeleton of a late 80s Xpressway tape being dusted down and examined by Mosquitoes or the Shadow Ring, or maybe some snotty, teenage version of the Necks. As with all Dead C gear - but even in these strung-out, droning instrumental incarnations, the music feels very much ALIVE, playful without losing their sense of direction - in it’s formation, Rare Ravers must have been deftly calculated (or perhaps we really are bearing witness to pure, improvised MAGIC?! Can such things be?!) - this Dunedin demo-team whittling away, exerting rigorous rehearsal space hours developing their own dialect - the sparse and more delicate melodic passages throughout, finally - ecstatically - taking the wheel on “Laver”, before shifting fluently back into the waves of blown-out bewitchment.
An addictive and rupturing return from the folks that have been ‘bout pushing the boundaries of the rock music since DAY DOT.