Nearly three decades ago, we survived the clandestine racist wrath of Ronald Reagan. But from the year leading to his election, to his final exit from the Oval Office, the era spawned an underworld of pissed off punk bands. Disenfranchised youth took to street venues and 4-track recorders to express their political angst. The suburban youth, who needed something to be pissed off about, followed along. But the embodiment of the culture was explosive, chaotic, and organically brutal- a vehicle for punk rock's golden age. Emerging from that era, MDC became a thorn in the side of fascism. Songs like "Nazis Shouldn't Drive" and "John Wayne Was A Nazi," were odes of contempt for the likes of Ian Stuart and John Wayne, who's legacies have become nothing more than a cancer on the face of this planet. But one MDC classic that seems to resonate with today's anti-fascist youth is 1982's "Born To Die." The song's lyrics have recently been altered to to blast the orange man with the funny looking hair. We've heard Green Day shout "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA" at the 2017 Grammy Awards. We've heard the slogan chanted during anti-racist demonstrations.
But after 13 years since their last album, MDC return just in time for the party. This time, they bring eleven new tracks and the revamped "Born To Die" on their new album, Mein Trumpf. The album's opener and title track, "Mein Trumpf," is a no-frills acceleration from rock n' roll shreds to an all-out, circle pit inducing, punk explosion. The song is not only a stab at Trump, but confronts fascism in general- a growing problem that deserves a punch in the face. The album also features some upbeat rippers - such as "Working with Satan" and "Mouth Full of Gimme." And lets not forget "Drones," an upbeat thrasher confronting the cowardly war machine dropping relentless drone strikes on third world nations. "Merry Fucking Christmas" is a melodic-leaning punk track with a modern edge- similar to that of 90s-era NOFX.
In light of Trump's election, there seems to be a new speculation among today's punks; will Trump's America make punk just as good as it was in the 80s? In one sense, the rise of fascism has prompted today's punks to espouse more angry and politically-driven music. However, the foundation of 80s punk and hardcore can't be replicated in today's world, unless it's being done by those who were around during it's development. Things were different back then. Punk rock was a novelty - despised by most. The shock value was far more potent. Yet the ideas were fresh and evolving. The lack of digital resources made for intense analog and tape releases rarely heard today. In retrospect, MDC are one of the true pioneers of political punk. They have a discography dating back to 1980, the same era that spawn bands like Black Flag and Reagan Youth. And their presence in 2017 can have an impact on many new bands.
Listen to "Mein Trumpf" below: