Somehow this gem went under my radar when it came out, and I am fully aware this material was published four years ago, but it’s one of those records which are worth mentioning no matter how much time has passed. Medictation is a collaboration between late Dickie Hammond, Graeme Philliskirk (both members of Leatherface), and Hugo Mudie, Fred Jaques, Julien Blais, known for their work in The Sainte Catherines. Warm Places represents a collection of Dickie Hammond’s final writings before his passing in 2015 but also stands out as the debut album of this remarkable punk rock quintet. Sadly, Dickie not lived long enough to see this material shining bright in all its glory, and this recording was published a year later after his passing with the blessings of his mother and a son.
It’s needless to mention how many artists were heavily influenced by Dickie’s songwriting. Bands like Hot Water Music, Dillinger Four, A Death In The Family, The Sainte Catherines, Tiltwheel, Sinkin’ Ships, Rentokill, Erase Today, Steady State, Crimson Mire, The Fallout, plus many more cited Leatherface as one of their prime influences. Warm Places includes those recognizable melancholic melodies, performed on heavily distorted guitars. Besides outstanding guitar performance, you may notice distorted lead chants that ideally match these melodies. A lead guitar is bursting with another dosage of harmonizations, which are contributing to the beforementioned orchestrations with even more melancholic thematics. The continuous dueling between guitars goes beyond comprehension throughout the entire recording.
The warm sounding bass guitar is kicking from the beneath with appropriate scales. These low-end tones are giving enough power to the chord progressions but also supporting the dynamic drumming performance. The complete rhythm section inflames loads of compelling acrobatics, supported by various accentuations and drum fills. It’s mindblowing how Warm Places indicates loads of entertainment since the commencement of this material. The album bursts with a melancholic atmosphere from scratch to finish, but, instead of being entirely punk rock-oriented, Medictation includes elements of melodic hardcore, indie rock, indie folk, and ska. The group infused all these abovementioned elements but kept the true spirit of melodic punk rock included in each composition without leaving its primary direction.
Warm Places is an outstanding debut by Medictation that unquestionably deserves a lot more attention from the broader audience. Each composition hides a comprehensive collection of detailed harmonizations, thoughtfully arranged to satisfy everything you ever desired to hear in a melodic punk rock song. Warm Places comes on a cream white vinyl, orange cassette, and a digipack compact disc. The digipack has sold out, but you can grab this gem on a beautiful vinyl record or equally good-looking cassette at Little Rocket Records. Don’t miss the chance to hear this exceptional punk rock record!