Punk is suburban folk, a genre born of stultifying mediocrity and conformity. But the onetime vehicle for protest is now just another marketing niche for songs about girls. Springing into that vacuum is MDC. Along with the Dead Kennedys and Suicidal Tendencies, the band helped forge the American hardcore movement, mixing raw, frenzied three-chord rock with angry political rhetoric. MDC (which stands for Millions of Dead Cops, Millions of Damn Christians and Multi-Death Corporation, among other things) penned one of the classics of '80s hardcore, "John Wayne Was a Nazi," which pointedly refused to separate the right-wing Wayne from his movie roles. Still active after a quarter-century, the band released Magnus Dominus Corpus in November (with the original bassist and guitarist). Their first new full album in more than a decade, it displays the same unsparing vitriol ("Prick Faced Bastard"), politics ("Founding Fathers -- Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?") and great sense of humor (a Bush-bashing Beverly Hillbillies-style theme: "DUI, that is. Criminal record, cover-up"). Often it's about as subtle as naming a TV show Desperate Housewives, and it can get a little self-righteous (lead singer Dave Dictor writes a column for the zine Maximumrocknroll), but the band is tighter than that WorldCom CEO's sphincter when he heard the verdict -- and who doesn't enjoy a little humorous, pissed-off rock rage from time to time?


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