2LP collecting the earliest (1985) recordings from hard-to-peg Ohio "Post Punk" group...
I've crossed paths with the band name My Dad Is Dead at least a handful of times over the years in contexts that'd suggest they'd be somewhat of interest. Still, I had no idea what they'd sound like. The fact that this 2LP set has been reissued by Scat records, opening links to our beloved Spike In Vain and Guided By Voices, doubled anticipation.
The opening track 'Talk To The Weatherman' crushed my hopes, but thankfully the post-hardcore/proto-emo stylings of that song is basically the only misstep of the entire set. From the drum machine intro of 'The Quiet Man' onwards things are captivating..
These recordings brought to mind how New Zealand bands (The Pin Group, the Jefferies brothers Nocturnal Projections ) injected the UK Post-Punk sound with a rickety Velvet Underground room-recording energy. At the same time the Ohio origins shine through, not quite Killed By Devo material but then again it's not quite anything I can think of?
Mark Edwards (MDID's central member) might've been aiming for Joy Division but the unpolished (but never grating) production, middle-American humility and songwriting-over-stylistic-execution approach bring to mind local favs Itchy Bugger and Aloha Units/Sex Tourists. - Nic
Originally released in 1986, the debut album by My Dad Is Dead is remarkable not only for its strong and varied material, but also how the aesthetic of MDID’s music was fully formed and instantly recognizable from the git-go. Here are the open modal guitar tunings, the primitive drum machine paired with live drums, the complete rejection of the pentatonic scale and related 1970s guitar techniques, and the dry, journalistic language that brings a distanced, subdued pathos to the harrowing characters and their situations. Few artists who traffic in the darker realms of the human condition do so without some degree of melodrama; Mark Edwards’s penchant for understatement and distance brings even more gravity and impact to these songs of lost souls in a dying city. All these qualities would become hallmarks of the My Dad Is Dead sound for years to come. Like Edwards’s next few albums, ...And He’s Not Gonna Take It Anymore was performed and written entirely by himself, which only deepens the feeling of isolation that permeates the album. This 2021 reissue was remastered by John Golden Sr. and is a huge sonic improvement over the original pressing and early ’90s European editions. Best of all, it includes an entire bonus LP of rare 1985 recordings that were only issued on cassette at the time. These are raw, primitive 4-track recordings that ooze with post-industrial Cleveland malaise. They include nine previously unnreleased songs, and early versions of four songs that were re-recorded for the album. Fans are certain to find some new favorites here.