Fully admit I didn’t keep up with MDC from tail end of the ‘80s through the ‘90s, largely ‘cause I found myself focusing more on the local underground music scene than the greater punk scene during that period, so there’s a chunk of their discography between This Blood’s for You and Magnus Dominus Corpus that is wholly new to me, including the two albums under discussion here. Hey Cop…, their fifth album, sees them frequently ratcheting back from the wild tempo, free-jazz-inflected thrash that quickly became their trademark in band’s early years. The lyrics remained topical as ever—”Millions Of Dead Cops” even references the then-recent killing of Circle One vocalist John Macias by the Santa Monica Police, as well as inflected with doses of sly humor. The song structures themselves are still fairly complex, and blasts of speed still pop up throughout. But you also get a song like “Black Christmas,” which sounds like a (Canadian) Subhumans outtake, and the downright anthemic “Moneypile” mixed in with ragers like “Crime of Rape” and “To Gig and Die in L.A.” Shades of Brown, their sixth album, continues along the same lines, with consistently stronger songwriting in evidence and a bit more eclecticism in delivery. Production is spot on and I’d venture to say it’s now my second favorite MDC album, after their debut. Based on both these releases, it’s pretty clear they were still on point long after hardcore’s supposed “salad days.” Kudos and thanks to BeerCity for getting these out to the masses once again.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Beer City)