An American Achievement
MDC at the GDS


The Green Door Store, Brighton - 7th August 2015
The realisation that the debut album from MDC came out nearly thirty-five years ago is simply staggering. Even more so when you consider it still sounds fresher than a field of daisies and, sadly, just as relevant as it ever was. Now American hardcore is not our first choice of listen, but MDC was irresistible in its utter refusal to compromise; its failure to comprehend why the world's richest nation should be such a cesspool of corruption, hatred and exploitation. It was a shattering howl of confusion, rage and despair with the lyrics making sense of the brutal musical approach taken by the band. Who wouldn't bang their heads against a wall if they lived in a country with the power to do so much good, yet which did so much harm? The band protested, "The police are the Klan, are the Mafia, so you better take your stand. MDC stands against the police repression, brutality, the macho inferiority and ignorance that encourages people to take a job where they can legally kick ass on the poor, minorities, women, homosexuals, use the law to strip all of their dignity. Who hasn’t unnecessarily suffered at the hand of the army of the rich?" It was an onslaught of fury, a complete rebuttal of the commonly held belief that the only way to deal with the situation was to become a part of it, thus perpetuating the oppression. Nope, MDC were having none of it.

2015 sees the band stopping off on their way to Rebellion to play to a crowded Green Door Store. There are still two original members in the line-up with Dave Dictor on vocals and Ron 'x-con ron' Posner on guitar and they are joined by Mike Smith on bass and Jesse Cobb on drums. Dictor's appearance belies the fact he must be just a fag paper under sixty now and he certainly shows no signs of slowing down. The band play for an hour in the somewhat sweltering heat, yet the audience is calling for more at the end and are treated to Dictor's solo version of 'Dock Of The Bay'. It's almost impossible not to warm to the personable singer as he explains every song before the band launches into them and narrates tales of his horrific time in prison where he was incarcerated with mass murderers for drugs offences ("You don't PUSH drugs, they sell themselves"), of his stone-throwing assaults on KKK gatherings, and of his contempt for war-hungry Republicans. He also relates his delight at being based now in Portland, Oregon, where cannabis has been decriminalised and the police hand back your stash wishing you a nice day.

Despite his affability, it's completely obvious Dictor has not mellowed one bit from the band's 1980s' heyday and it would have been disappointing if he had. A fine selection of songs from that first album are played, including 'Dick For Brains', 'I Hate Work' and the magnificent 'My Family Is A Little Weird' which Dictor explains is really aimed at himself and stems from a time he went to a school gathering dressed as a cheerleader, expecting the other boys to have done the same. The venomous 'John Wayne Was A Nazi' is saved until near the end as are the scathing 'Corporate Deathburger', an attack on mass slaughterers McDonald's, and old single track 'Chicken Squawk', with its similar animal rights theme. Dictor chicken-dances round the stage and it's bloody marvellous. Later tracks include 'No More Cops' which Dictor composed after being accused of never offering up anything positive. The man is class.

The band themselves are too busy to be over-animated. Posner thrashes at his guitar and plays out the odd hoe-down, and when Dictor is not singing he gestures towards the guitarist on his left or Smith on his right, depending upon whom is currently taking the lead role. It's a surprise Cobb doesn't melt given the required drum assaults in the toasty atmosphere, but he has youth on his side and makes it through the set still conscious.

This is a quality performance from a legendary band whose place in musical history is certainly assured. New music is promised; indeed one song aimed at Jeb Bush is already included in the set, so there is clearly still a lot to offer, a lot to fume over, and a lot of fun to be had. Don't think you won't enjoy MDC live; it's a cert.


Dave Dictor, MDC
Words by Adam Hammond
Photos by Guy Christie
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