3D’s – We Bury the Living: Early Recordings 1989-90

January 01, 1970

(Flying Nun)




It seemed like
in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s bands from New Zealand fit into two camps: one was
the poppier side of things that the Flying Nun label released (The Chills, The
Bats, etc.) while the hazier, noisier side of things were on the Bruce
Russell’s Xpressway label (Russell’s own Dead C., Plagal Grind, etc.). The 3D’s
were a band that did both.  In a career that released three full-length
records (the final one, Strange News from
the Angels
, was released in 1996) and a few EPs, relatively short for most
bands, the 3D’s created a melodic, jackhammer thump that some bands are still trying to mimic. This 21 song
disc, with copious liner notes by Russell, collects both of those early EPs
(1990’s Fish Tails and 1991’s Swarthy Songs for Swabs) as well as 8
demo tracks.


With only a few
dogs, most of We Bury the Living is
very good.  Of the 8 demo tracks, a few
of the stronger ones include the hazy opener “Meluzina Man” (Pile-Up version),
the jittery “Evocation of W.C. Fields”, the grinding “Evil Kid.”  Among the other stuff, the Fish Tales songs that are worth
repeating are the Sabbath inspired “First Church”, the Pavement-esque “Dreams
of Herge'” (though this was released before Slanted
and Enchanted,
so who influenced who?)
and the slithery title track. From the 2nd EP you’ve got torched
gems like the warped/orchestral “Sing Song”, the cacophonous “Grimace” and the
guitar heavy “Bunny” (sung by bassist Denise Roughan). The guitar interplay of
the two David’s, Mitchell and Saunders, was like a Million/Mercer for the
Southern Hemisphere set, while caveman drummer Dominic Stone ably held down the
bottom end fort with Roughan. When the band was firing on all cylinders it
truly was a beautiful mess.


With Flying Nun
releasing the band’s three full-lengths last year, this was the final piece of
the puzzle. Pick it up, pop it in and be hip-mo-tized.


DOWNLOAD: “First Church”, “Evocation if W.C.
Fields”, “Dreams of Herge'”, “Grimace”, “Bunny”, “Hairs”, “One Eye Opened” TIM


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