The Dead C

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The Dead C
OriginDunedin, New Zealand
GenresExperimental rock, noise rock, free rock, drone music, garage punk
Years active1986–present
MembersBruce Russell
Michael Morley
Robbie Yeats

The Dead C are a New Zealand based music and art trio made up of members Bruce Russell, Michael Morley and Robbie Yeats.[1][2] Russell plays electric guitar, Morley sings and plays electric guitar or laptop, and Yeats plays drums. They have been called one of the most interesting bands in the world by Thurston Moore, and have been cited as influences by Bardo Pond, Flying Saucer Attack, Labradford, and Pavement.[3]


Formed in Dunedin in 1987,[4] the group is known for its lo-fi guitar soundscapes and improvisational take on rock music.[citation needed] Their first Auckland show was in 1989 at Russell Crowe's Venue, by which point they had already released two albums on Flying Nun, who Russell had been doing copywriting work for.[5] They became known internationally through their releases on the Philadelphia record label Siltbreeze, especially the 1992 double LP Harsh 70s Reality. Early, pre-Siltbreeze albums such as Eusa Kills and DR503 found the group still drifting between song-based work and the experimental free rock found in later albums including The White House and Tusk. Recent albums have seen the group add electronics and samples, yet still maintaining their origins in trademark hazy guitar chaos.[citation needed] Their records are typically all improvised, and not recorded in a standard professional music studio.[6]

The group performs infrequently outside of New Zealand, although they did travel to the US in March 2002 to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival (curated by Sonic Youth), as well as a couple of gigs in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They also performed for the first time in Europe in May 2004 at Le Weekend, a new music festival in Stirling, Scotland and returned to the UK to play at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival again in December 2006.[7] In 2008, they played a short tour in the United States, and returned to the UK to play All Tomorrow's Parties in December 2010. In September 2016, they played a few US dates including Cropped Out festival in Louisville, Kentucky

A compilation album covering their first 18 years entitled Vain Erudite and Stupid: Selected Works 1987-2005 was released on the Ba Da Bing label in 2006.



Release date Title Label
1988 DR503 Flying Nun Records
1989 Eusa Kills Flying Nun Records
1990 Trapdoor Fucking Exit Precious Metal
1992 Harsh 70s Reality Siltbreeze[a]
1992 Clyma est mort Siltbreeze[b]
1992 Metric Majora
1995 The White House Siltbreeze
1996 Repent Siltbreeze
1997 Tusk Siltbreeze
2000 The Dead C Language Recordings
2001 New Electric Music Language Recordings
2003 The Damned Starlight Furniture Company
2007 Future Artists Ba Da Bing
2007 Untitled Split LP (with Hi God People) Nervous Jerk Records
2008 Secret Earth Ba Da Bing
2010 Patience Ba Da Bing
2013 Armed Courage Ba Da Bing
2016 Trouble Ba Da Bing
2019 Rare Ravers Ba Da Bing
2020 Unknowns Ba Da Bing


Release date Title Label Format
1989 The Sun Stabbed Xpressway 7"
1990 Helen Said This¹ Siltbreeze 12", 33 rpm
1994 The Operation of the Sonne Siltbreeze 12", 33 rpm
2005 Split Series 18 (with Konono Nº1) Nervous Jerk Records
2013 The Dead C vs Rangda (split with Rangda) Ba Da Bing
2015 Palisadas I Dischi Del Barone
2020 All Goodbyes Language Recordings


Release date Title Label
1987 The Dead See Perform M. Harris Diabolic Root
1987 43 Sketch for a Poster Diabolic Root
1988 The Live Dead See Xpressway
1989 Perform DR503B Xpressway
1990 Runway Precious Metal


Release date Title Label
1995 World Peace Hope et al. Shock
2006 Vain, Erudite and Stupid: Selected Works 1987–2005 Ba Da Bing
a 1500 copies made
b 450 copies made


Year Single
1991 "Hell is Now Love/Bone"
1991 "Power/Mighty/Peace"
1994 "The Dead C vs. Sebadoh"
1994 "Metalheart"
1995 "Metalheart" (reissue)
2000 "Stealth/The Factory"
2006 "Relax Fallujah Hell Has Come"
2008 "Golden/Canine"


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "The Dead C: Harsh 70's Reality > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  2. ^ Sprague, David (2007). "Dead C". Trouser Press. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Dead C". Flying Nun Records. Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  4. ^ "The Dead C". Beat Magazine. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  5. ^ "The Dead C Finds Life in the Shadows". Consequence. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  6. ^ "In Praise of Miscompetence: Noise Icons the Dead C Remain Mysterious as Ever". Observer. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  7. ^ "The Dead C". RNZ. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2022.

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