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MDC, Disrobe, Mellow Harsher, No Question

  • High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

A scathing political hardcore band perseveres. Info/tix

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The legendary political hardcore band MDC (short for everything from the infamous Millions Of Dead Cops to the dumber Metal Devil Cokes) has been around in one form or another for most years since 1979, when they were initially known as The Stains and released "John Wayne Was A Nazi/Born To Die" as a 7-inch single in Austin, Texas. Both of those songs would be re-recorded for their classic 1982 self-titled debut album as MDC, and "John Wayne Was A Nazi" in particular has endured as one of the band's best-known and most well-loved songs. But the band had more to offer than greatly entertaining ad hominem swipes at conservative cowboy actors. MDC's bludgeoning, hyperspeed attack squashed deserving targets from fast food to homophobia to South African apartheid, set to flailing riffs that could always compensate with sheer energy if they ever lacked for catchiness. The 1986 album Smoke Signals made real attempts to diversify MDC's sound, too, with goof tracks like the poppier "Soup Kitchen Celebrity" and the self-explanatory "Country Squawk" (pro-vegetarian advocacy set to, you guessed it, faux-country) slotted against more technically accomplished blasts of wild-eyed hardcore like "No More Cops" and "Missile Destroyed Civilization" (spot the initials). In short, the band's unyielding devotion to not terribly profound, but sincerely passionate and dead-on leftist protest has always served it well, and they even released a new album last year after a 13-year recording hiatus with the hilariously in-character title Mein Trumpf. Times like these, for better and for worse, prove that political hardcore never really dates. —Mike Noto