ARTIST: The Mekons
TITLE: Fear and Whiskey
YEAR RELEASED: 1985
CHART ACTION: None (sniff…)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Sadly, no
LINEUP: Jon Langford, Tom Greenhalgh, Sally Timms, Susie Honeyman, Lu Edmonds, Rico Bell, Steve Goulding, Mark White
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Mekons, mark 2, trade anarcho-punk for anarcho-alt-country-before-its-time.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After a couple of albums and a classic single or two, the original band of the Mekons petered out in 1982. But during the Coal Strike of 1984, the core of the group decided the time was nigh for a reboot, and The Mekons rode again.
But, there was a new sound. Instead of clattering punk rock, there was fiddle, slide guitar, and a country tilt to the entire sound. Now, there was still some anarcho-wierdness (“Trouble Down South”), and some experimental tracks (the spoken word “Psycho Cupid”) but traditional sounding songs like “Flitcraft” exist in this universe too, along with the fantastic lead cut “Chivalry”.
They’re still loose, they’re still political, but God love ‘em, they came back with a strong record that defied expectations.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: I’ll cover the early version of the band when I review their compilation, which will cover the entire gamut of the band. The classic mid-80’s and early-90’s albums will be reviewed in whole, though.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE A: The Mekons definitely started some of the alt-Country movement, and they didn’t even know it.