Mega City Four played punk for rainy days. Loud songs of loneliness, betrayal and alienation may sound like like 21st century Emo but they're just common elements of the rain-soaked melancholy that affects much of British pop-punk from the Buzzcocks to the Zatopeks. Their American light wasn't the cartoon-punk of the Ramones but the feedback-soaked pop of Husker Du. (The MC4 in fact covered what may be Husker Du's greatest song, "Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely".)
The year I forsook the sun-swept flatland for the damp, mountainous coast, I spent a lot of time under an umbrella with Walkman continuously auto-reversing through those early Mega City Four albums. Just listening to these albums again makes me feel a little damp.
Madly, the MC4's early singles remain out of print, so MRML has elected to post each of them in their double a-sided glory.
"Miles Apart" which starts with the line, "I'm standing in the rain/And I'm thinking once again/How the way we see is never quite the same", sets the tone for the first few years with its bashing tempo, amped-up guitars, sing-along melody and that all-pervading sadness that the singer never fully succumbs to.
"Running in Darkness" repeats the trick of the a-side and adds one of those little bursts of defiant optimism ("I've got to win a race") that Wiz tossed off so well.
Dowload Miles Away (1987)
Principle song-writer and lead singer Wiz passed away so very prematurely in 2006 - in his memory go and buy Tranziphobia or one or their more accessibly pop albums from Amazon.