First off, how fucking killer is a song title like “Hell Is Now Love,” anyway?
The Dead C are a weird band. Rarely have I found a group of musicians whose sound is harder to pin down. Their vibe is raw and blown out, but manages to be melodic, and oddly catchy. The first track I ever heard from the New Zealand noise-rock zealots was “Hell Is Now Love,” but not the version that graced Trapdoor Fucking Exit; it was the 7-inch version. It still holds its place as my favorite Dead C song. Trapdoor Fucking Exit is a killer album, as is Harsh 70s Reality, Secret Earth, and everything else they've released. This version of the song has an atmosphere that feels like air that shreds your lungs open and turns your blood into absinthe. It's fucking out there, noisy, shrill, but totally psychedelic and gorgeous.
I remember describing the song to someone as Harry Pussy slowed down; and that's about half right, I suppose, but sells them short… There's more finesse to the group than that. Sure, they're lo-fi and the jams are very free-form. There's a definite feeling of some orchestra of mangled guitars on fire, but it's done so elegantly that you can't deny the hazy Elysian Fields of chaotic, decaying rock and roll.