Friday, January 23, 2009

The Wiz

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.


  1. always nice to hear unknown music... I hear the Buzzcocks (vox) and Husker (in the bass)influence.

    thanks for this

  2. Thank you for this post. I have all their early singles but it will be nice to have them in Ipod-playable form. It's a crime that more people are not aware of this incredible band. So sad about Wiz passing away at such a young age.

    You might like to check out my blog "Time On My Hands" as we seem to have some of the same tastes in music. I've even posted some MC4 songs myself.

  3. Marky Dread Said...

    Saw 'em loads of times fantastic band. Very sad about Wiz he was a lovely geezer sorely missed.

    "There's a big hole where my dreams should be"

  4. Nazz

    Always a point of pride to introduce someone to something new.

    You are surely welcome.


    Yeah there's a lot of sadness around this band - not just their lyrics but also their lack of deserved success and, of course, Wiz being too young to die.

    P.S. Time on My hands does look good.


    As always, you're welcome and thanks for leaving some good words.


    Lucky bastard - they didn't play much across the pond (at least not in the cities I've lived in) but you can tell they kicked ass live.


  5. I really love my copy of "Sebastopol Rd." but it sure sounds M.O.R. after hearing "Miles Apart". I need more MC4!

  6. CPB

    What kind of idiot sells two British imports (Both "Bob" and "Tranzaphobia"!)and then expects to get them back ten years later when he realizes the blunder he's made.

    Damn me!


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