Corpses Of The Ultimate Dominators

Magnus Dominus Corpus

Sudden Death Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Music and politics have been woven together in an uneasy tapestry for many years. The cliché examples are Vietnam protest songs, the PMRC in the 80s and Ozzy Osbourne attending a dinner where President Bush spoke into a mic and acknowledged his presence. (I think we've all seen the clip by now. Otherwise, catch a re-run of "The Osbournes.") Meanwhile, punk rock has always been about protesting the way people are treated and raising awareness of issues. Punk is about rejecting the normal way of doing things, branching out and making a difference. The lyrics from Corpses Of The Ultimate Dominators are yet another thread in the tapestry. My co-worker has this band's first release on vinyl. Apparently, this is the band's 7th release.

On my first listen with no previous exposure to the band, MDC come across as a punk rock band from New York that pissed me off. I suspect they'd be happy to know that a listener of their CD found himself in a fit of rage. It pissed me off to hear one-sided political statements that are so far liberal, perhaps better described as so anti-conservative, that there seemed to be no purpose to a CD like this. People slam Emo bands like my beloved Beyond Surface for being whiny. On first listen, MDC's CD is even worse. I mean, c'mon: George W. Bush stole the election. George W. Bush's family "took care" of him so that he could avoid Vietnam, so he could snort cocaine (allegedly), so he could live life as a spoiled man. The question is asked, "How many arrests on your rap sheet were erased? / as the courts always seem to lose your case." There are cheap shots made throughout this CD that repeat the same crap we heard during the election season about President Bush's service in the National Guard, the tax cuts for the wealthy, etc. If you didn't hear enough of the same themes hammered over and over again and yet, repeated again and again earlier this month, this CD is for you!

So, after my first listen, I decided to give them another chance. I hated this CD more on the second listen.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There's the offensive "Founding Fathers - Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?" which tries to draw a parallel between the beginning of our country and Iraq. Vocalist David Dictor sings: "So back then they rebelled against the king / The U.S. in Iraq is really the same thing / all the radio hate disc jockeys rage / screaming we should blast them back to the Stone Age." The band rags on the elements in their genre, punk rock, that disgust them. They slam punk bands that have achieved commercial success in "Poseur Punk" and "Timmy Yo." They slam law enforcement in "Let's Kill All The Cops." With a relative in law enforcement, I will never, ever, appreciate this song a bit. In "Nazis Shouldn't Drive," they state that "they should've paid attention in driver's ed / instead of hating foreigners, queers and reds / keep your eyes on the highway you loser thug / now you're squished on the highway like a bug." Nazis in driver's ed? Did they have driver's ed during WW II?!? I don't know.

Finally, I get to the end of the CD a second time and I take a break. With the parody of "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme still in my head (and the quotable lyrics "His IQ was zero and his head was up his tush"), this was just too damn much.

An hour passes before I press Play again. I listened even more closely to the lyrics, to the way the ideas behind the lyrics sometimes were more important than the actual delivery. The anger against the Republicans, against those that don't look out for others, is not bad. In fact, I came to understand that the world actually needs more bands like MDC. Seriously. What percentage of those over 18 voted? Less than 100%. To a band like MDC it is unacceptable. This CD is a call to action. Maybe it was on the fourth listen when this band finally and completely changed in my ears. I paid attention to the other elements of the band. The musicianship started being an equally intriguing proposition to my ears. It became obvious to me that MDC is punk rock. Not because they don't like President Bush. Not because vocalist Dictor peppers the lyrics with the F-bomb. Not even because they don't like authority. They are punk because they are who they are and they make no apologies for being who they are.

I like this CD and I'm giving it a B+. Dictor doesn't read the lyrics word for word. He changes words whenever it suits him. It gives the vocals a "live" feel - as if they were recorded in a frantic single performance. Drummer Mike Pride shines on the disjointed "Time Out" with a lot of fast fills and tasteful syncopation with the rest of the band. The whimsical "Girls Like You Make Me Queer" spins the story of "the king and queen of Texas hardcore" while "Sleep A Little Less, Dream A Little More" is a call to action. "Prick Faced Bastard" tells the story of a boss who is "a user and a liar / an abuser for hire / nothing but a bully / people will get tired / he'll fade and be dated / too long overrated / we all know / he's just a prick faced bastard."

If this CD pisses you off, like it did me, MDC was successful. How can you not listen to the lyrics of this band and not be angry? Even if you disagree with the band's view of President Bush, there are other topics that should make you upset and want to do something to change the world. Make no mistake, this is a political band. After Metallica's "One" came out, some labeled Metallica a "political band," a label Metallica rejected. Call MDC a "political band" and they'll probably buy you beers all night.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sudden Death Records, and is used for informational purposes only.