British Punk RockPunk British Rock
Great British Punk Rock Explosion (Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Reissue)
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Testi Album: Pistols Pair - The Great British Punk Rock Explosions
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DEAL BRITISH PUNK ALL'AMERICANA
Still a little commitment, little effort, a few years, and the Mekons will be able to support the Rolling Stones as the oldest English group in history. To put it another way, there are forty years that are not peanuts or chips between this new "Deserted" and their debut record "The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen" (November 30, 1979, Virgin Records).
There was no CD on the market yet and the Mekons were already making a big mess. And then they must be worth something: a group formed at the University of Leeds between young people who, instead of studying, came screaming from English punk in 1977 and have been living in Chicago for years. This geographical bipolarity of the two, England/USA, is reflected in their remarkable record production, which, starting from an understandable British punk setting, immediately showed progressive stylistic figures for those days in 1979.
In other words, post-punk in years in which the concept of "punk" had not yet been completely overcome and metabolized. In 1980 came the second eponymous record, less surprising than the first but still of good quality. Jon Longford, one of the band's leaders, goes on his own, founds a new group, The Three Johns, and uses his energies with many concerts.
But the Mekons are there, in the dark, perhaps under formalin, but patiently waiting to resurrect, and with a thousand geographical-musical directions still to be undertaken and explored. In the mid 80's the group reunited and was reborn as punk, dressed in classic and modern American sounds at the same time.
No predictable blink of an eye to California punk or New York no waves. It' s the root sounds that enchant the Mekons, but only if they contain the absurd opposite, seemingly incompatible styles. This is the true power of the reborn Mekons, a new all-inclusive American music. New members of the group come, a violin (Susie Honeyman) for country sweetness (but not only), a female voice (Sally Timms, almost one of her little Velvetti Nico), a multi-instrumentalist (Rico Bell, and sound geography is covered) and the new drummer Steve Goulding, along with the two founding members Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh.
More than one group, an entire troupe opens this new phase in the 1980s with three excellent records "Fear and Whiskey" (1985), "The Edge of the World" (1986) and "Honky Tonkin" (1987), not forgetting the EPs "Crime and Punishment" (1986), "Greetings Eight" (1988) and "The Dream and Lie of...". The 1980s ended with "The Mekons Rock'n'Roll."
A compact record (1989), closed, well produced, among the most famous and popular of the group and among our favourites. The Mekons have found the right synthesis of style and will produce several albums over the next two decades that are always linked to the roots of the USA and include a major expansion of instrumentation for the country style volk (slide guitars, banjos, fiddles, harmonica), but always stay alive, sometimes hidden, sometimes obvious, their undeniable "British" origins.
A subtle punk vein, which often shows itself in the surroundings and the vocal impulse of Langford and Greenhalgh, which in some moments even refer to the past chlash or another British group. They are a group that is not completely embedded in the sounds of US origins, but has surprises (more or less successful, but always original) on every record.
Perhaps not particularly successful are some of their "melodic country" releases, which sometimes appear in production, but it is undeniably the strength found in several other compositions where punk rage and ruralfolk density meet wonderfully. Seagliamo tr i' 90 et i 2000: "The Curses of The Mekons" (1991), "I Love Mekons" (1993) and "OOOH!
"Mekons' new record "Deserted" contains all stylistic components that have proven their worth in the past. It starts with the first attack of Lawrence of California, then the post-punk ballad of Harar in 1883, the ambient spacescape of How Many Stars, the sweet countrypop of Andromeda and the typical roots-rock finale of After The Rain, which reminds of bands like Wilco, Jayhawks or, even more, the new Foxes countyolk.
Throughout the listening process, this sound, robust American rock'n'roll, curvaceous Country Folske melodies, fine rock, and an unbreakable post-punk attitude that has never been erased in forty years in this group. The Mekons are here! But after four decades still young, a punk DNA they hide for the modesty of old age.