Hell Is Love Now Sleeve Catches Grouper’s Eye
New Zealand rockers Dead C are rated highly by Portland musician Grouper in his Inner Sleeve column for Wire magazine.
“I bought this 7” because it was by Dead C, whose music I love; also, honestly, because of the dog on the cover. The song ‘Hell is Now Love’ has become one of my favourites,” Grouper wrote about the Dunedin band’s 1991 single.
“The words, aesthetic and intention are built like bricks. Heavy and minimal at once. Black and white, violent scribbled text. High contrasted game pieces. Not entirely explained.
“The front cover of ‘Hell is Now Love/Bone’ is ambiguous. It is a found photo, [band member Michael] Morley says. ‘There isn’t anything remarkable about them at all, and yet there is something utterly bewitching.
The woman’s fantastic glasses, her quirky smile and psychedelic dress, the man’s braces, shirt, eyes, hat, and the dog. It seemed to be an image that represented a part of New Zealand that was disappearing.’”
Formed in 1986, Dead C is known for its lo-fi guitar soundscapes and improvisational take on rock music.
Their first Auckland show was in 1989 at Russell Crowe’s Venue. They became known internationally through their releases on the Philadelphia record label Siltbreeze.
Original article by Grouper, Wire, June 2014.