Friday, January 15, 2010

Mega City Four: Sebastopol Rd

Thanks to CallPastorBob for the Guest post!

It's an easy argument to say that "Terribly Sorry Bob" contains MC4's highest highs and that "Tranziphobia" is their best overall album. But, for me, my real love of Wiz and co. started with a ride down "Sebastopol Road". Yes, the breathless popcore of their earlier work has been slowed to a more standard rock n' roll pace but that does nothing to negate the insane catchiness and intelligence that seemed as natural to Wiz's songcraft as breathing underwater is to Aquaman.

O.K., not everything on "Seb. Rd." is a hit (the album seems to go back and forth between mini-masterpiece and decent filler on a track by track basis) but, when they're on, it's shocking how fabulous those Four were. Take the lead off track, "Ticket Collector", as but one example. A catchy riff to start followed by an every/only teen vocal that builds to the heart-bludgeoning refrain: "I've all the time in the world for you / but I'm using it up on me".
"And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it a crush."

It's an on-going frustration that Mega City Four's mastery of power pop is as neglected and sniffed at in critical circles today (I recently read their name followed by the words "and other lesser English bands" in a book that had the gall to tell me I had to hear at least four fucking Morrissey solo albums before I die!) as it was in their heyday. Thank the little fiber optical cables that strangle the globe that we can, on a whim, tune into a Mega-work such as Sebastopol Road for ourselves and leave the opinions of those who tell us what our tastes should be in the dust.

Oh wait, that's me isn't it? Terribly sorry.

MRML Readers: Leave us a comment telling us what you think of this, or any other, era of Mega City Four

Sebastopol Road CD

Sadly, one of the only ways (that I know of) to support the band is to buy "Tranziphobia" from Amazon or Cherry Red Records.


  1. I totally agree with you about the Mega City Four. Not necessarily about "Sebastopol Rd" (though I'll definitely give it another listen or three) but on what a shame it is that they never got their due respect. Especially here in the U.S. where almost nobody heard of them even during their heyday. I did get to see them during their short American tour but unfortunately, Maz was sick and could barely sing. I also really like The Senseless Things.

  2. Good call. A very under rated band.
    Tranziphobia is still today one of my favourite albums of all time.

  3. YankeeBoy: Things weren't much better up here in Canada for poor ol' MC4. The first I really heard about them was when Wiz did some songwriting with Doughboys for their "Crush" album. It took our good captain Jeffen to properly introduce them to me.

    I'll have to check out The Senseless Things. To be honest, they're one of those bands I've heard about a hundred times but have never gotten around to bending an ear toward.

    Anon:"Tranziphobia" is fantastic. Now if only we could get someone to re-issue "Terribly Sorry Bob"...

  4. Hello:

    If MC4 were almost ignored in USA and Canada, you can imagine how it was in Spain. I got the first album edited in Spain by "la Fábrica Magnética" and several years after I could find a british copy of the second album, and nothing else. I even don't know if they ever tour Spain. I guess that they were unknown by the vast majority of spanish people.

    In any case they were a GREAT band. I love their first album and I can't wait to hear the singles form your posts. I'm sure I will be positively surprised.

    Thanks for your work and effort.

    Tomás from Spain.

  5. Tomas from Spain: I was surprised to hear that Mega City Four were practically unheard of in your country. It seems to me, from what small fraction of understanding I have of the Spainish love for power pop and garage rock, that they would have gone down a storm there.

    I'm very glad to hear of your enjoyment and, as always, cudos to our Jeffen for spreading Mega awareness 'round the globe!

  6. Hi there!
    MC4 are a beloved band in Spain, at least among people interested in rock, just try to ask...
    My favorite album: "Magic Bullets", but I love all his work. Se le echa de menos, Mr. Wiz!
    Cheers from Madrid

  7. Many friends loved the songs of MC4, was one of my favorite bands. It was sad to know the loss of Wiz ... Greetings from Barcelona (Spain)

  8. The lads have struck up a deal to re-release their albums starting with Sebastopol Road. Due for release in Feb 2013 with bonus tracks. Can't wait :) x

    1. I'm excitd by that too. I didn't know the other albums were on the schedule too...

  9. Gerry created an MC4 facebook page last month where the lads will post updates. And yes Sebastopol Road is just the start :) x

  10. On Spotify... :-) - worth it for Wasting My Breath...


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