Single Review: MC16 – Data Donor

Single Review: MC16 - Data Donor
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

As mentioned in previous MC16 reviews, the band have a preoccupation with the darker side of the modern world. Whether that darker side is the unfortunate result of earlier actions (Sleeping on Cardboard) or a deliberate attempt to remake the world in a more acceptable image (United States of Generica), there is always a consequence and a price to be paid.

The latest MC16 offering, hot off the recording desk, is Data Donors, another shot across the bows of modernity, this time looking at the world’s increasing reliance on digital technology.

The track opens with Quinn’s huge bass tone, rumbling along as Duffy focuses on the high-hat. Carson’s guitar joins a moment later and collectively there is a distinctive sound of MC16 emerging in all tunes.

The idea that computers are supposed to enrich our lives is tempered by the increasingly frequent glitches in the system. Lyrics like “syntax error”, “extended warranty” and “data missing” have become the bane of most people’s lives and so reliant are we on the digital realm that to have these responses is akin to having freedoms curtailed.

As ever with MC16, there’s something more at play here, and that is revealed in the line: “Are you listening?” The answer is: of course They’re listening (whomever They might be) but it isn’t the Orwellian telescreens that spy on us constantly; it’s the friendly digital assistant or the eternally vigilant mobile telephone in your pocket.

Single Review: MC16 – Data Donor

Ironic that the 2018 General Data Protection Regulations have been like King Canute in the attempt to hold back the tide of harvesting personal data. As Duffy points out, we chose whether we want to donate blood or organs, but we do not get the option as to whether we want to donate our most intimate information; and that data is more precious than body parts.

Quinn goes on to point out our increasing reliance on – and presence in – a digital world, with all of the system glitches – whether accidental or deliberate – is creating a more insular and further divided world, the long term affects of which cannot be contemplated.

There’s some virtuoso bass at the beginning of the bridge, allowing Carson’s guitar to build a full, rich sound. It even gets frenzied for a time, leading into the lyrical refrain of “Who’s watching us? Who’s watching them?” picking up on a theme from Decent Pubs and Murder.

The track ends with a power down and this can be seen either the band shutting off and detaching from the system – taking the Red Pill to use a Matrix analogy - or the system expelling them because they know too much.

It’s all about the layers and it’s in the ears of the beholder. Should you not want to entertain this idea of unblinking digital surveillance, Data Donors is yet another rollickingly good tune from a band who seems to knock them together for fun.

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