Friday, November 04, 2016

Theme From An Imaginary Western

I've written about the band DC3 a few times before on this blog. It's not like I really have a whole lot more to add to the story, and it's not like the band - that's Dez Cadena's post-Black Flag outfit who featured a coupla Stains and a Paul Roessler (Kira's bro, ex-Screamers/Twisted Roots bearer of dreadlocks) in the mix - were exactly a top-tier musical outfit worthy of pages of ink in their praise. After 3 or 4 years of punk rock shenanigans, DC3 were Dez's back-to-basics return to his pre-punk roots: Budgie, Deep Purple, Mountain, Hawkwind. Back in the mid '80s, all this kinda get-up was about as fashionable as last year's milk, and I'd bet a penny or two they never shifted too many units in their lifetime nor the afterlife, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to recommend in their catalogue. I have noted before that the debut, This Is The Dream, has a fairly cool Saint Vitus-style sludge to it, and their live LP from '88, Vida, is probably even better, but in between it's pretty slim pickings. You're Only As Blind As Your Mind Can Be from 1986, which I have owned since, what, 1989?, is a record I have tried so many times with, but I always come up empty. The record itself comes up empty. Dez was always one of my fave Flaggers, but it is simply a rather terrible rock album which offers the listener little, and I can't for the life of me figure out what it was they were trying to achieve with the recording. It doesn't sound 'heavy', nor '70s' nor 'psychedelic', and therein lies a recording we will discuss no more.

The absolute best thing they ever did, was in fact their cover of Jack Bruce's 'Theme From An Imaginary Western', a track made semi-famous by Mountain's version on their excellent debut LP from 1970, Climbing. DC3's version remains the best there ever was, a truly magical slice of baroque hard rock with incredible dexterity and musicianship which possesses a precision neither other semi-famous version possesses. In fact, it remains one of my all-time fave SST jams ever. Dez's version was only ever available on the second Blasting Concept album from '86, and some fine citizen has finally placed it on Youtube for all to enjoy. Let's line 'em up and see how they go...

1 comment:

D. Zelic said...

Don't know what happened on "You're Only as Blind as Your Mind Can Be". Perhaps the side effects of a broken heart & a guilty conscience seeped into songwriting too much? It seems that DC3 lost all the heaviness they had and turned to then current rock model, lighter in approach. Sound-wise it's inferior to previous two albums. (Spot recordings fit the SST aesthetic and I miss even his fuck-ups when compared to slightly boxed sound of upgraded Radio Tokyo or M.Boshears' engineering.) In addition to that, there are more corny songs on this album, few of them quite unpleasant. I got rid of it and keep all other albums although I rarely listen to them. Generally, I like collective "regressive" hard-rock resurgence (half-assed, mainly) that happened in SST camp in 1984/85, just before jazz and avant-garde years. Sort of a good history lesson, if nothing else.

Saint Vitus were authentic heavy rock center point in '85, though. God bless 'em.