Home Read Classic Album Review: The Mekons | Fear and Whiskey Reissued

Classic Album Review: The Mekons | Fear and Whiskey Reissued

The alt-country outfit's shambolic LP owes as much to The Clash as it does Cash.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Some claim this 1985 classic from legendary Leeds art-punk outfit The Mekons is the first alt-country album. Maybe so. But don’t buy this reissue expecting to hear something that sounds like Wilco with a British accent.

The gloriously shambolic Fear and Whiskey owes as much to The Clash as it does to Johnny Cash. Led by singer-guitarists Jon Langford and Tom Greenhaigh, the band (which also included former Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor at the time!) stumbles and meanders through 10 beer-sodden tales that combine the melodies and attitude of C&W with the snarling guitars, leftist politics and off-kilter beats of ’80s po-mo post-punk, forging an eclectic, electrifying document not unlike parts of The Clash’s Sandinista! It might never make the Country Music Hall of Fame, but it’s easy to see why Spin named it one of the 50 Most Essential Punk Albums.