It has been nearly two months since the punk world lost renowned Leatherface guitarist Dickie Hammond. However, his work in rock music isn’t quite over as it was announced on Tuesday, December 15, (coincidentally what would have been Mr. Hammond’s 50th birthday) that his recent side project, Medictation, will be releasing their debut album.
The album, titled “Warm Places,” will be released via Paper + Plastick on January 29, 2016.
With the 2012 breakups of 80s British punk pioneers Leatherface and Canadian punk rockers The Sainte Catherines, it was the perfect time for bassist Graeme Philliskirk (Leatherface) and vocalist Hugo Mudie (The Sainte Catherines, Yesterday’s Ring), who had met while their respective bands were touring together in 2008, to finally work together. Medictation was formed the following year, taking on Mr. Hammond as well as ex-The Sainte Catherines members Fred Jacques and Julien Blais to round out their sound.
Much of “Warm Places” was ideated by Mr. Philliskirk and Mr. Hammond while the other members toured with another project, Miracles. “Dickie and I pretty much got the ideas together,” Mr. Philliskirk told New Noise Magazine on December 15, “I recorded the demos, sorted out the arrangements and sent the tracks over to Quebec.” He continued, “Miracles were touring a lot at this point, so the boys pretty much worked on ideas on the road and sent them back. We would constantly be in touch about different ideas.”
News of the album was supposed to be announced earlier this year, but was delayed due to Mr. Hammond’s unexpected passing in October. Now, with the blessing of his family, Medictation’s work, and Hammond’s final recordings, will be heard.Mr. Philliskirk told New Noise Magazine that the music “was always going to be released but knowing that new ideas we had will not be done for another release is so sad. His family gave us their support to release it, which was good but again, knowing he won’t play the songs live is upsetting. On one hand he has passed away but on the other he lives on through his music.”
In addition to announcing the album, the band has also premiered their first single, “Memories of Youth,” on New Noise Magazine. Blending Mudie’s gravelly voice with Social Distortion-like melody, the song is equal parts grit and longing nostalgia. It’s a fresh take on early 90s punk with deep roots in the music that came before it.
While the future of Medictation is up in the air, the band still hopes to tour behind the music and, if all goes well, record more. “At the moment I think we all want to do the record justice for Dickie and get it released and promote it the best we can,” Mr. Philliskirk told New Noise Magazine, “after all, it is his last and he was very proud to be a part of it.”