My Dad Is Dead …And He’s Not Gonna Take It Anymore 2xLP reissue
Expanded reissue of the 1986 debut LP from Cleveland post-punk “band” MY DAD IS DEAD, in reality the solo work of Mark Edwards, who crafted a stark, brittle bedrock of guitar, bass, and drums (when not opting for the cold drone of a rhythm machine) to accompany his pitch-black lyrical ruminations on the wounds of personal trauma (the project’s name was no joke) and the psychic doldrums of living in the shadow of Cleveland’s post-industrial decay. The dour, monochromatic palette of the UK’s JOY DIVISION/CHAMELEONS bloc was a natural aesthetic touchstone for Edwards’s tales of bleak Rust Belt reality, evident in the haunting guitar jangle and dryly narrative, slightly Ian Curtis-echoing baritone vocals on tracks like “Black Cloud” and “The Quiet Man,” but executed here with an self-effacing Midwesterness that was so much more raw and direct than anything produced by those peacoated Brits—the whole of Closer could only aspire to be as quietly devastating as “Statistic” manages to be in the span of just under four minutes. The second LP includes all of the material from MY DAD IS DEAD’s 1985 demo tape, including a number of even more vulnerable and stripped-down takes on songs that later resurfaced on …And He’s Not Gonna Take It Anymore, some influence from homegrown Clevo art-punk (think PERE UBU, et al.) cropping up in “The Entrepreneur,” and a BIG BLACK-ish mechanized beat driving the particularly intense instrumental “Rut.” Chillier than a lake-effect winter; real beauty in suffering.