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Album Review
We Bury The Living (Early Recordings 1989 - 1990)

We Bury The Living (Early Recordings 1989 - 1990)
by The 3D's

Flying Nun

Review Date
15th June, 2011
Reviewed by
Miles Buckingham


There was a shower at Fish Street Studios where the 3Ds recorded the demos and first of two EP's that form We Bury the Living, an arrangement cobbled together from a bath and a hot water zip run from the kitchen area, which, on a freezing Dunedin morning, was capable of delivering the best part of two minutes of gloriously hot water, then run out and continue to sputter a cold dribble.


Maybe hygiene wasn’t at the forefront of the 3Ds minds while they were developing the amalgam of raw pop that went on to fill their albums Hellzapoppin, The Venus Trail and Strange News From the Angels, but what the material on We Bury the Living does demonstrate is their ability to string together rough pop with a dose of noise, and enjoy what they were doing, before cutting the song off before they got indulgent, an admirable quality to find in a band based around three mates, later to become four, simply getting together for the pleasure of making music.

They knew when to get out of the water, having made productive use of the previous two or three minutes for a good scrub. Accompanied by liner notes from Bruce Russell, whose Xpressway records was the intended recipient of the seven demos contained on the disc, it is clear that he at least recognized the potential of the band, and championed them from an early stage, and with the re-release of their albums by Flying Nun, this album completes the story, as noisy and melodic as it gets. Whether digital remastering of their first two EPs, Fish Tales and Swarthy Songs for Swabs has revealed previously hidden delights in the dense and purposefully lo-fi, delightfully analogue bursts is a moot point, but for the fan now presented with three versions of “Meluzina Man”, it probably doesn’t matter that much. Instead, as Bruce puts it, if you agree that they were “… the most exciting band around, every time” then these “Early Recordings” are a pleasure to be acquainted with.