My Dad Is Dead
...and He’s Not Gonna Take It AnymoreScat
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.