Simon Says: 21st Century Punk With Moral Dilemma

on Saturday, May 26, 2012
Words: Simon Opie

Punk is now just a style and the Sex Pistols were just a band, to quote Scroobius Pip. So what does the legacy of Punk mean in the 21st century? Well there’s many who claim to have been influenced by it and there’s some like Moral Dilemma who play it straight up.

Those who belong in the latter camp tend to prosper rather better in the USA – Green Day, Rancid and Bad Religion being obvious examples - but Moral Dilemma have paid their dues here in London, England, and the result is really rather good. They formed in 2004 and have played in squats with makeshift gear so they’ve earned their stripes – or whatever Punk rewards may be.

Their new EP, to be released next month, is led off by single 'Bigger Cages, Longer Chains', a title that doesn’t leave much to the imagination but is full-on, uncompromising punk rock and dare I say, is as relevant today as it ever has been. The other two tracks are 'Spare The Vote Spoil The Ballot' and 'New Empire'.

'Spare The Vote...' is easier paced but just as heartfelt with an almost cowboy twang to it and some nice slide guitar. How I imagine Calexico might sound if they covered a punk song. Whereas 'New Empire' is two minutes of rage with a tune, just how I remember the Pistols.

So if it was a style, and they were just a band, it’s uncanny how prescient a movement Punk has turned out to be. The world’s in a mess, and there’s every reason for people of all ages but especially the young, to be angry. That’s why I think bands like Moral Dilemma are relevant and necessary. Go find them at a moshpit near you sometime soon. You know it makes sense.

'Bigger Cages, Longer Chains' is set for release on 25 June '12. Find more info at Facebook. To feature in this Simon Says column, email altrock(at) with your submission.

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