Monday, June 21, 2010

Review #130: MDC - Millions of Dead Cops (1982)


Year: 1982
Genre: Punk Rock
Rhythm Vicar Records
20 Minutes
My Rating:

MDC is a hardcore punk band from Austin, Texas, originally formed in 1979. The band's first release was a 7" single featuring a song of their called "John Wayne Was a Nazi". The band is notable for having a far-left position on politics, performing extremely fast music, and being one the notable hardcore punk bands to last into the 1990s without breaking up inbetween. Two years after "John Wayne Was a Nazi" was released, the band released their first LP, and it's called "Millions of Dead Cops". One might assume this was a self-titled album, but the band frequently changed around what their initials stood for, so it's hard to tell.

1. Business on Parade

Loud, very fast, and messy! The song is critical of the capitalist system in the U.S.A., where big businesses are unfortunately in the driver's seat and forcing the populace to buy their half-baked crap while keeping the class gap high. I'm not entirely closed to the concept of capitalism, but with the never-full bellies of the rich who seem to never have enough money to shove up their asses, it's yet another system which simply cannot work in this world. I like the drumming and vocals in the melt-down parts.

2. Dead Cops/America's So Straight

A two-in-one song, done in an interesting way. "Dead Cops" is a hyper-speed piece calling for the death of racist macho piggies everywhere! Sandwiched inbetween the two halves of "Dead Cops" is a slightly slower piece called "America's So Straight", describing the plight of a gay man in socially conservative America. After that ends, the song returns to the final verses and choruses of "Dead Cops".

3. Born to Die

This song contains the infamous chant, "No War, No KKK, No Fascist U.S.A.". The lyrics describe the empty lives of many people in the U.S.A. who feel backed into a corner by the government and society, feeling "born to die" and trapped in a cage to be slowly tortured for the sick pleasures of the people in power for as long as life goes on. This song is very fast.

4. Corporate Deathburger

The first song I ever heard from MDC. And I don't feel a single bit of hypocrisy in listening to this song because I haven't eaten anything from a McDonald's restaurant (if you wanna call it that) since I was 9 years old... eight years so far! But yeah, this song pretty much pisses on the fucked-up system known as McDonald's and really the vast majority of big corporate fast-food franchises for filling the American people with toxins, draining 3rd-world countries of resources, multinationalism, and the general basis on the trade being making money off of death itself. Very fast, great riff. One of the best songs on here.

5. Violent Rednecks

We've got plenty of these types of fucks where I live. A bunch of meat-headed, trigger-happy, ultra-conservative assholes who are just waiting for the day when it's legal to shoot anybody who looks at you funny. In the punk scene (especially the Texas scene that MDC is from), violent rednecks would go to shows just to beat up punk rockers. In the song, another redneck wants to rape a punk girl, but the band threatens to "ram a longneck up his butt". Very fast for the most part, and even faster at the end! One of the shortest songs on the album.

6. I Remember

The song begins with an intense, passionate anti-police rant, telling citizens to stand up against the police. The main part of the song is speedy but not too speedy. Nice riff. The song tells a first-person outlaw story about a person who's constantly on the run from the authorities, first escaping the country to avoid having to pay money to some government rapists, and he doesn't know if he'll ever find a safe place in the world. A lot of good insightful poetry here -- "They call this the land of the living, but they're trying to make a dead man out of me", "I remember all the stories I heard about how a man's supposed to be as free as a bird; my brother's in prison, my father's dead; me, I'm tired of living with a price on my head."

7. John Wayne Was a Nazi
The song starts out kinda slow and gets progressively faster. The song detests the famous cowboy actor, John Wayne as a symbol of violent white christian male supremacy, glorifying those who slaughtered and raped the Injuns, forcing them to conform to white values or die. Even though Dave criticizes John Wayne for hating "fags", rumor has it that John Wayne was a closet homosexual himself -- but aren't most queer-bashers that way, anyways? End of Side Uno.

8. Dick for Brains

I'm not completely sure what it's about -- whether it's a song about a man who feels persecuted by a controlling, cruel female lover who has "dick for brains" instead of a "clit for brains", or the theory that male-supremacists are secretly afraid of the idea of women in power. The beginning of the song is slow, but for the most part it's extremely speedy. Complete with a reference to the "golden shower".

9. I Hate Work

I personally think work is a necessary part of human life, but I do agree that the system really does over-work its people. And if you don't keep up with the super-tight demands of the system, you get punished. THAT fucking sucks. But yeah, I agree with most of the sentiments of the song -- working 9-to-5, fighting wars for the system (why doesn't the PRESIDENT just go fucking fight them?), and work low-wage jobs just to get by. I've seen so many kids go off to join the military just because there aren't really many other opportunities for my generation, and the government is taking advantage of this by bribing them with college and a job and stuff like that -- if they MAKE IT OUT ALIVE, that is! Not to mention the constant mental conditioning in our younger years that really annoyed me, making joining the military and killing look cool through video games (the most famous video games right now are mostly military-themed), and violent macho action movies (some of them are even really racist), revving up kids to look to partaking in war as a "correct" decision to make when they get old enough. Fuck that. Fight your own damn war.

10. My Family is a Little Weird
This song describes the life of a kid who grows up with gay parents, gender identity issues, and mentally crazy relatives! "Grandma sells dope to the high school kids" -- hee hee!

11. Greedy & Pathetic
This song is very fast and speaks up against the rich who manipulate the costs of everything to fit their selfish desires. However, many people in the underclasses see through their lies and deception. That's what this song is mainly about. Was that last statement redundant or what? Was that one, too?

12. Church & State
Once again, MDC taking on an issue that is still very relevant after almost 30 years! Especially after what just happened in Texas with the local schools revamping their curriculum to be suited to a far-right slant. But it happens all over the country, especially in rural areas. Obey the Christian faith only, go to war, fight for your land (what?), etc. Basically the false "patriotic" ethic that kinda contradicts the whole freedom thing that these very people claim to espouse. Shortest song on the album.

13. Kill the Light

Ultra fast! I dunno how they all keep up with eachother! It's crazy. This song is sung from the viewpoint of the system, leeching off of the common man to stay alive in its demonic existence, forcing people to live "half in their graves", in the sick society of cancer, puke, piss, hate, fear, poison, and confusion.

14. American Acheivements

There's a lot of gray shit in this song. Similar riff to "Corporate Deathburger". The song is about feeling entrapped by the system within the gray world that the still-unseen master figure has built up for us all to slave through. This song is very unique-sounding, plenty of minute solos and rhythm shifts -- those things work well in hardcore. The last line reminds the listener that "there's no god in heaven, so get off your knees."

The main theme of the album is the feeling from the poor and middle class that they are being pretty much fucked around by the rich in every way, living their lives in fear and desperation, being mercilessly manipulated, be it through money, health, or the mind -- being kept to stay down low "like they deserve it". Anyways, if everyone was liberated there WOULD be no power, RIGHT? Anyways, the hardcore punk style here is very fast, and if that doesn't entertain you, you should at least be able to appreciate its very relevant and intelligent lyrics. It stimulates the brain. But yeah, it's a pretty good album. DSDSFGDFGDFGDF

Top 3 Favorites:

1. Corporate Deathburger
2. Business on Parade
3. Violent Rednecks

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