Home Read Classic Album Review: The Mekons | OOOH! (Out of Our Heads)

Classic Album Review: The Mekons | OOOH! (Out of Our Heads)

The art-punk pioneers offer another genre-defying entry in their eclectic catalogue.

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):


After 25 years, your average band is long gone. Or at least sounds like it. The Mekons, by contrast, sound like they’re just warming up.

OOOH! (Out of Our Heads), the umpteenth release from this loosely knit posse of art-punk pioneers, marks yet another genre-defying entry in the band’s ridiculously eclectic catalogue. As usual, you’ve got the alt-country leanings and raspy troubadourism of Jon Langford; the fallen-angel vocals of Sally Timms; the boisterous squeezebox of Rico Bell; and the frenetic sawing of fiddler Susie Honeyman. As usual, they somehow manage to blend these seemingly disparate elements into raggedly graceful tales of whiskey, sorrow, politics, love and religion. And as usual, they traipse all over the musical map, playing folk, gospel, rock, country, punk and anything else they damn well feel like — only to end up sounding like the bastard sons of Merle Haggard and Sandinista!-era Clash, but with an art-school degree. Here’s to the next 25 years.