Millions of Dead Cops
Now More Than Ever (Self-Released)
By: Jake Beamer
First I'd like to give a little history of what I consider to be probably my favorite punk rock artist of all time. MDC (or, Millions of Dead Cops, as per their most frequent acronym) is a hard, fast punk quartet that originated circa. 1980 in Austin, Texas. The band was associated with San Francisco, California's political/peacepunk movement in the early 80's, then Portland, Oregon's raging drug culture in the 90s. Currently the whole band is clean and very active in Long Island, NYC.
MDC, whether referring to the acronyms Millions of Dead Cops, Millions of Damn Christians, Morally Decent Christians, Millions of Devout Christians, Millions of Dead Capitalists, Millions of Dead Congressmen, Millions of Dead Children, Missle Destroyed Civilization, or Multi-Death Corporation, (among others) have always known how to make powerful political statements.
Us loyal fans have been waiting since 1993 for MDC to release another full-length album. (They have put out several singles and compilations, like the one I am about to review). It would be great to see another full-length album from them MDC boys. Maybe this will happen soon.
The band's newest LP release is a 20-year retrospective of their work entitled Now More Than Ever : MDC 1980-2000. It is widely available through Blackened Distribution and many other fine places. This record has 20+ songs, highlighting many of MDC's albums and includes some rare material and a great new song! Dave Dictor (the only founding member left in the band but also the band's spokesman) has assembled a cool-sounding and young bunch of new musicians who are now known as MDC. The newest incarnation includes Matt VanCura on bass, Brendan Bekowies on guitar, and Al Batross on drums. Plus DJ Toby. No way, kidding about that last one!
The disc features songs compiled from most all of their large back catalog of great records, including legendary punk landmark singles "John Wayne Was a Nazi", "Chicken Squawk" and "Corporate Deathburger", plus many more. Two of those three songs all happen to be from MDC's amazing first self-titled album Millions of Dead Cops. I think the recordings of all these songs still sound great. Unlike some other notable punk acts of their era, they've managed to keep everything totally DIY and they've maintained rights to all their music, imagine that!
MDC was always different-sounding because they recognized their blues and classic rock roots, as evident in many covers over the years. On Now More Than Ever they pull out a tune by the folk-punk priestess Michelle Shocked. Also alongside more of MDC's standard punk numbers from pretty much all their long career's releases are some striking rarities.
If you are truly an MDC nut like me, you're going to want the quite hard-to-find song from the 1998 7" split single with the Repeat Offenders called My Dog Has No Girlfriend and a live version of the song from the 1994 split 7-inch Liberty Gone EP MDC did with the Capitalist Casualties in 1994 called "Nazis Shouldn't Drive (Cars)". The latter of which is a different kind of ode to the late singer of Skrewdriver, Ian Stuart. Also on the disc is a song "I Was An Infant" from Dave's side project the Submissives, who released only one hard-to-find album entitled An Anvil Will Wear Out Many a Hammer.
So after all is said and done, Now More Than Ever is a great, comprehensive CD and probably worth picking up if you are a freakish fan like myself. But the distribution in the U.S. hasn't been good, unfortunately. New distro via Beer City Records. But I still say if you want the best compilation of MDC, it might be 1988's More Dead Cops. Or even go for their self-titled LP! It's a good solid listen. Sounds better on vinyl, too.
On the internet, although many sources contain snippets of MDC information, their status online can still be described as "obscure." But there is one site that thrives with ALL things MDC, and this site is http://www.freespeech.org/deadcops, their official website. Dave continues to contribute his column, "Millions of Dead Columnists" to MaximumRockNRoll and the other members are consistently online too. Check the website above for all their individual email addresses.
The band is 22 years old this year, and MDC will keep rocking on until the world ends. MDC, 1980-2002. And still continuing to say FUCK THE MAN.