Still killing cops
MDC brings a quarter-century of pure punk power
You just can’t punk a band like MDC.
The legendary hardcore punk rock outfit known most famously as Millions of Dead Cops first attained its status as one of the punk bands to check out in the early ‘80s, has stuck to its guns and blazed through nearly 25 years of a musical subculture notorious for eating bands alive.
Front man Dave Dictor was with the band at the beginning and has survived lineup changes, grueling tours of the world and the evolution (some would say devolution) of the scene he helped create.
“It’s changed over the years,” Dictor said. “Now it has kind of gotten older where it used to be fresh and so cutting-edge.”
Punk rock is such an all-encompassing term in modern times that it could be defined to include any kind of rock music with a little youthful rebellion and some not-so-tough-to-play guitar work. With these loose guidelines, the more stale aspects of musical culture have been able to sneak in along with bands that exploit the subculture as a vehicle to mainstream success. In essence, it’s not all your daddy’s punk rock anymore.
“People who said they were punk in ‘82, they really were punk,” Dictor said of the watering down of parts of the punk scene. But he quickly adds that the roots of punk rock and the ethos behind it are alive and well in people attracted to the music and culture because of alienation, angst and disgust with their perception of the world. “It’s raw and real to them,” he said.
The music MDC has always played, including newest record Magnus Dominus Corpus, is the embodiment of the raw and real. The instrumentation is fast and a little chaotic with the dirty rock ‘n’ roll guitar style that rose out of Austin in the ‘80s due to the influence of bands like MDC and the Dicks. The words are yelled passionately over the ruckus and lyrics are blatantly political, delivered angrily. The subject matter can be easily deduced by reading a quick list of band names the initials MDC stood for over the years: Millions of Dead Cops, Millions of Damn Christians, Multi-Death Corporation, Millions of Dead Congressmen, Male Dominated Culture, Missile Destroyed Civilization, Millions of Dead Children, etc.
MDC is once again on tour and returning to Chico. The last time the band hit town a few months ago saw probably the rowdiest show Off Limits has seen and with opening band Retching Red and locals Gruk [which this author plays bass for] and the P.A.W.N.S., this show should demonstrate that while punk rock may be 30-years old, it’s still kicking and not going anywhere, a reality Dictor said won’t change no matter what path punk is headed down.
“One hundred years from now there’ll still be people angry with how the world is and be protesting with the way they look or their music.”