Hardcore Times Two
Mad Town Mulligan revive Clash-era punk rock.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
For years, the current members of Monterey County’s Mad Town Mulligan were involved in the region’s hardcore scene. Guitarist Dustin Case played in a long list of area bands including melodic punk outfit Lengua and thrash band Genital Hospital. Brad Baker, the Mad Town Mulligan’s other guitarist, was a member of Genital Hospital and Jon Benet Stranglehold.
According to Case, the local hardcore scene started to wither a few years back, partly due to the lack of all-ages venues. But things changed a year ago when Salinas’ La Perla and Santa Cruz’s 418 project opened their doors to the young crowd. This, coupled with the success of regional hardcore acts like Los Dryheavers and Here Kitty Kitty, drove Case and Baker to put together another hardcore band.
Since debuting onstage at the Lava Lounge this past May, Mad Town Mulligan has performed at La Perla, Penny Farthing and the Carmel Youth Center. Case says his band likes to blur the line between audience and performer at their shows. “We want to get the crowd involved with our music,” he says. “If you know the words, jump up onstage and sing.”
Rather than playing the pop punk of bands like Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard, Case says, the Mad Town Mulligans are influenced by classic punk rock band The Clash, along with punk revivalists the Swingin’ Utters. “To me, there’s just more feeling in it,” Case says of the old-school punk and hardcore music. “There’s more heart and soul.”
In addition to playing covers of Cock Sparre’s “We’re Coming Back” and the Utters’ “No Eager Men,” the Mad Town Mulligans have 10 original numbers, including the Misfits-inspired “Specimen 32,” and “Long Way Down,” a hardcore number reminiscent of the great Southern punkers Avail, made interesting with lots of backing vocals.
MAD TOWN MULLIGAN play with Los Dryheavers and Tried & True at the Lava Lounge in Club Octane at 321 Alvarado St. in Monterey, Saturday at 10pm. 646-9244.